South Korea Update Strategy

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The U.S. Military Should Remain in South Korea

The United States has reasonable military options for dealing with North Korea. It is time to use them.
Mazza, 12/7

Should the U.S. Take Military Action Against N. Korea?”: Michael Mazza, AOL News, AEI Scholar,

In the wake of North Korea's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23, there was plenty of talk about what can be done to prevent future provocations from the North. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that the U.S. is "committed to the preservation of peace and stability" in the region. But left largely unmentioned in all the talk so far has been any discussion of a U.S. military response. That needs to change. The fact is that the U.S. has reasonable military options for dealing with North Korea, and it may be time to use them.

Negotiations over the past two decades have failed to rein in Pyongyang's provocative behavior.

But it may be time for the United States to demonstrate to Pyongyang with a show of force that Washington is committed to the defense of its ally and that there are severe consequences for Kim's actions.In particular, the president should consider launching a campaign to steadily reduce North Korea's ability to conduct military operations outside of its borders. Such a campaign might include: Neutralizing missiles on launchpads, Locating and eliminating artillery positions along the North Korean coastline and the demilitarized zone (DMZ), Striking submarine berths, Depending on the risk of spreading radiation, attacking the North's known nuclear facilitiesThe goal would be to wipe out the North's power-projection capability. Such a campaign would have the dual benefits of reducing the threat to South Korean security and, at long last, of setting Kim Jong Il back on his heels, forcing him to think twice about launching attacks against his southern neighbors.The risks, of course, are significant. No president can lightly consider attacking a country armed with nuclear weapons, however small its arsenal. And North Korea has thousands of artillery pieces on its side of the DMZ and within firing range of Seoul--Seoul's hostage status has provided Pyongyang with significant leverage over the years.Yet appearances to the contrary, Kim Jong Il is a rational actor.He is concerned, first and foremost, with his own survival and the survival of his regime. Any large-scale attack on Seoul, whether conventional or nuclear, would spark a war in whose aftermath the Democratic People's Republic of Korea would likely cease to exist. The Kim regime would be no more, and Kim's legacy would include not only the starvation of his people but the loss of his country.Kim knows all of this. For this reason, his response to U.S. military operations would be bombastic in rhetoric, but might very well be more restrained in action than is commonly feared. Indeed, his options would be as limited as the allies generally consider theirs to be. A U.S. attack on North Korean soil (in conjunction with financial sanctions) is not an ideal solution, but it just might be the least bad option. President Obama should at least discuss it with his national security advisers and with his counterparts in Seoul and Tokyo. If Pyongyang is not punished for its actions--and soon--it will continue to launch periodic attacks on South Korea. Without punishment, those attacks are likely to grow increasingly deadly and provocative, leading eventually to a war on the Korean peninsula that all parties wish to avoid. American military action should not be off the table as a means to forestall such a fate.

The U.S. Military Should Remain in South Korea

The United States should implement a comprehensive missile defense in Asia.
Klinger, 2011

The Case for Comprehensive Missile Defense in Asia”: Bruce Klingner Heritage Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia,

The United States and its allies are at risk of missile attack from a growing number of states and non­state terrorist organizations. This growing threat is partic­ularly clear in East Asia, where diplomacy has failed to stop North Korea To counter these growing threats, the U.S. should work with its allies, including South Korea and Japan, to develop and deploy missile defenses, While Washington continues to seek diplomatic resolutions to the bal­listic missile threat, it is critical that the U.S. simul­taneously pursue missile defense programs to protect itself and its allies. Missile defense contributes to regional peace and stability and supports international nonprolifera­tion efforts by reducing other nations’ perceived need to acquire nuclear weapons. Conversely, the absence of sufficient missile defenses leaves the U.S. and its allies “limited in their actions and pursuit of their interests if they are vulnerable to North Korean or Iranian missiles.”[3]

North Korea . Pyongyang has tested two nuclear devices, a 1-kiloton device in 2006 and a 4-kiloton device in 2009. North Korea has an extensive ballistic missile force that can strike South Korea, Japan, and U.S. military bases in Asia. It is continu­ing to develop an ICBM that would threaten the continental United States. In July 2009, Pyongyang launched seven Scud missiles, which flew 300 miles prior to landing in the East Sea. The latter barrage of missiles was an unambiguous vio­lation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874, which was passed in June 2009 in response to North Korea’s nuclear test of the preceding month. The resolution demanded that North Korea “not conduct any further nuclear test or any launch using ballistic missile technology” and ordered North Korea to “suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program.” [The sinking of the Cheonan portends] a dan­gerous new period when North Korea will once again attempt to advance its internal and external political goals through direct attacks on our allies in the Republic of Korea. Coupled with this is a renewed realization that North Korea’s military forces still pose a threat that cannot be taken lightly.[11] The attack on the Cheonan shows that Pyongyang retains a significant ability and inclination to attack South Korea with conventional weapons. Missile defenses have the potential both to deter the aggressive impulses of freedom’s enemies and to strengthen the resolve of its friends. Having a missile defense system in place could prevent an enemy attack from ever reaching Washington, New York, Seoul, or Tokyo and complicate any design aspiring world powers may have to limit America’s role as guar­antor of peace and security in the Asia–Pacific region.

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