Title

North Korea's missile development and its impact on South Korea's missile development and the ROK-U.S. alliance

Department

History & Political Science

Document Type

Article

Publication Source

Korea Observer

Publication Date

2008-12-01

Volume

39

Issue

4

First Page

571

Last Page

602

Abstract

This article examines North Korea's aggressive nuclear and missile development efforts and Seoul's response. By applying medium power theory, which is characteristically different from the widely (mis)used concept of "middle power," I explain South Korea's foreign policy behaviors, focusing on its policy toward missile development. South Korea abstained from developing long-range missiles to counter the North Korean missile threat until 2001. I interpret both South Korea's long abstinence and its subsequent efforts to upgrade its missile capability as strategies dictated by South Korea's dual identity: it is a medium power in a global sense and yet a small state within the context of its regional security situation. This aspect is critical to understanding Seoul's security policy and the future of the ROK-U.S. Alliance. © 2008 by The Institute of Korean Studies.

Keywords

Medium power, North Korea's missile development, ROK-U.S. alliance, South Korea's missile development, South Korea's security policy

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