The geostrategic position of
the Republic of Korea is difficult because of the proximity to the Democratic
People’s Republic of Korea (or North Korea), which is may be fast approaching ballistic
missile program readiness – as well as developing a weapons of mass destruction
The Republic of Korea is to a great extent dependent on the US security
guarantees. In recent years, it has relied on the UN Security Counsel to help
reign in the dictatorship to the North. China has recently urged North Korea to
disengage in the programs alleged to be building nuclear bomb-carrying
South Korea elected not to join the US-led global missile defense
system, but has in the meantime developed a defense entity similar to the MDA
from the United States and the MDC from the United Kingdom.
Because of the rising threat from Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
the country expressed its interest in joining the US missile defense shield. It
is also interested in research and development of different missile defense
related technologies of the US. The United States has become increasingly
involved in in the defense of South Korea and of any threat North Korea might
present from the West, moving battleships with missile defense technology
towards Guam and other areas in the Pacific.
North Korea’s successful missile launch in December of 2012, along with
perceived strategic movements and placement of offensive missile technology,
has heightened the sense of urgency in South Korea.
The Republic of Korea launched its first
destroyer last year and is expected to deploy total of three in the coming
years. However economic crises can delay the planned operational capacity
dates. The government also proceeds with a contract to buy 48 PAC-2 missiles
from Germany and first deliveries were already made.
The defense systems in the effective area include THAAD, Patriot and
Aegis. Though South Korea does not have all of these under their possession,
the United States systems in the area are able to help South Korea defend