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[2020-11] The Future of the Korean Peninsula without the U.S. Armed Forces

  • 운영자
  • Date 2020.08.18
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The Future of the Korean Peninsula without the U.S. Armed Forces

Se chan, Song

Moon Soul Graduate School of Future Strategy, KAIST

Young, tag Jo

Future Innovation Research Center, Army Headquarters

Yong, seok Seo

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, KAIST


The symbolic significance and role of U.S. forces in Northeast Asia, especially on the Korean Peninsula, is important beyond doubt. The presence of U.S. troops in South Korea has been understood as an unchanging constant. But the future lies in the highly uncertain situation of a permanentization of wild cards. So far, studies have only discussed the possibility of U.S. troops withdrawing from Korea, but have not discussed the future of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia should the U.S. troops actually withdraw from Korea. In this regard, we have asked, based on the theory of international politics with Korea as an example, "How would China react? And accordingly, what will Korea need to do to survive?" We presented four scenarios as an attempt to answer these questions. The four scenarios depict the course of action Korea could take for survival. The first scenario is alliance with North Korea, the second is an increase in asymmetric weapons and military force, the third is band-wagoning with China, and the fourth is the engagement policy. What can be assumed from this is that instability and change in the balance of power in Northeast Asia have a significant impact on international politics. This means a change in the U.S.-led Bretton Woods system, which is currently maintaining the global order. This can be expressed in the form of an uncontrolled arms race, as the scenario suggests. There is a possibility of development of a weapon that is even stronger than current nuclear weapons, which could threaten the very survival of mankind. This study emphasizes that stability and peace in Northeast Asia are crucial from a global perspective.

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