U.S.-Japanese-Republic of Korea Relations
The Future of U.S., Japanese, and Republic of Korea relations vis a vis Nortth Korea will be determinant on the fidelity our allies and how their populace feels toward the United States. An order to effectuate good policy in the North East Asia we must be prepared to defend them against any and all unwarranted aggression, even from China. As China’s foreign policy goals develop and become more robust in the coming decade it will be as important as ever to consolidate these alliances and to act as one with respect to the economic, diplomatic, and military goals of our three nations. As per U.S. Korean relations we should not be hasty to simply proliferate our way out of this challenge by violating NPT or not and furnishing these nations with strategic weaponry. Rather we should build on what is literally decades of U.S. foreign policy and balance the equation by preventing nuclear proliferation by leading with our actions. Indeed in a February 28, 1975 State Department memorandum from Richard Smyser and David Elliot to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, they detailed what would become official policy toward the ROK in relation to its nuclear weapons initiative. In the memorandum Smyser, and Elliot promulgate a way to deter and prevent the ROK from obtaining nuclear weapons.
They state that 1) Inhibit ROK access to sensitive technology and equipment both through unilateral U.S. action and through the development of common supplier nation policies.
2) Press the ROK to ratify the NPT. (The ROK has told us recently that it intends to proceed to ratify the NPT in the near future.)
3) increase our information on the current state of ROK technical development in this area. as for the actual policy, indeed the U.S. did in fact do all three of these things and they were in fact able to persuade the ROK to ratify the Non Proliferation Treaty(NPT).
Similarly around the same time frame South Korea was being furnished with attack helicopters by the Ford administration while under the direct management of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
These policies continued throughout the Ford administration as Secretary Schlesinger was asked by President Park Chung Hee to furnish the regime with submarines an order to counteract the proliferation of North Korean submarines. However likewise the Secretary recommended what was instead a directive to purchase P-3 spy planes, sensor equipment, and other anti-submarine warfare, area denial counter measures from the U.S. government. This modern historical tie to both the ROK and Japan should now give way to an even broader spirit of cooperation in matters of mutual security, particularly with so many consequential threats in the North East Asian region.
This is why I’m proposing that the United States, ROK, and Japan develop a regional fighting force that would be capable of extending our bonds of mutual cooperation into the 21st century. What I envision is a grouping of military assets; ground, naval, and air; that would allow for the United States and it’s allies to respond to threats which may occur on the Korean peninsula, Japan, or the oceans surrounding China. This fighting force would be manned in large part by the ROK and Japan, though the U.S as has been postulated in its “Asia Pivot” would bulk up its presence in both the ROK and Japan. I envision a force that would be equipped with some of the latest technology that the U.S. and its allies have available to it, where at the very least there is a qualitative superiority over China, and the DPRK. These forces would patrol the waters in and around Korea, and China using maritime assets, deploy and protect the THAAD missile shield in NE Asia, supplement the ground, and air forces on the Korean peninsula, and assist with technical missions in and around Korea (Detritus recovery, air and sea recovery and rescue, mine sweeping, piracy operations, and enforcement of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087, and 2094). These would be the stated missions of such forces until Australia, and New Zealand is able to formally enter into a more concrete alliance that would allow for technology sharing and force multiplication throughout all of east, and south east Asia. The peace that we seek in North East Asia is a peace that encourages the development of friendly countries both diplomatically, as well as economically. This is why the utmost of concern to us should be the resumption of friendly relations between the Republic of Korea, and Japan. Any sort of security arrangement should make the ties which bond these two countries as stable and prosperous as possible. I’ve noticed in the press that there are a number of entreaties by both sides to ameliorate relations, particularly when it comes to “comfort women” that were used by the Japanese during their occupation of China, and Korea in early, to mid 20th century. This is very encouraging and I would like to see their relations repaired as soon as tenable an order to make the relations between all three of our countries better. That I believe. Since if there is to be any sort of concrete steps that we take in the region as relates to a security arrangement, there needs to be relations between the ROK and Japan which are rock solid.
U.S. – Australian Relations – A Side Bar
Lately we have witnessed the situation in Syria, as well as the intransigence of the Russians in the Security Council. This led me to review the U.S. and its stated goal of having India join the U.N. Security Council as its sixth permanent member. I must admit I’m wary of what India would propose as a permanent member of the Security Council because they are enemies of Pakistan and wish to have a vested interest in the future of Afghanistan with or without U.S. involvement. However it is true that Asia is the largest and fastest growing continent in the world. And India is the largest Democracy in the world. These are all good reasons to include India as part of the security council, however, we should be able to include people who live relatively close to Asia on their own continent who have contributed much in the name of democracy; Australia.
It’s because of Australian companies like mining giant BHP Billiton and others that lead the way not only in South East Asia where Singapore is the world’s largest Muslim majority country. But also in countries like China, where financial services are dependent heavily on Australian expertise, and buildings require the raw materials to be built that only a resource rich country like Australia is able to handle. And speaking of China it is also true that Along with India these two behemoths share a like currency; the Riminbi. However this currency is ancillary and is not noteworthy in the two economies where one relies heavily on rupees, India; and the other relies heavily on Yuan, China.
Australia allows for Asia to be viewed through a prism that is wholly separate from the view of the U.S., and yet still western in scope and magnification. As Cold War allies and allies in World War two it is incumbent to at the very least consider a security council of six or more that includes an ally as staunch as the Australians before we look east for something which may in fact not be their at all.
In terms of this paper Australia can be a vital sea faring ally that when coupled with New Zealand, which can make for a tripartite force that would then provide security and assistance from Indonesia, to the ROK. This, in my estimation, should be the main thrust of our alliance and by inducing Australia to contribute and sacrifice more, by securing a security council seat for them, we will be able to tolerate Chinese, and North Korean aggression in the region without wearing ourselves too thin.
Policy Issues and Policy Proposals
Policy Issue I: The United States will have to work closely with regional allies and partners to address Pyongyang’s nuclear program, missile development, and illicit activities, as well as the risk of an internal collapse of regime control. Managing escalation in such contingencies will be vital not only with North Korea but also with other regional states like China and Russia.
Policy Prescription: Work with regional allies (Taiwan, Republic of Korea, and Japan) and global allies to develop a coherent public relations strategy that will prevent the DPRK from having the capability to initiate discussions with foreign governments for the purpose of selling fissile materials and technology, or ballistic missile technology that can then be used to bolster the enemies of the free world.
Simultaneously reach out to allies in North East Asia and elsewhere with the express intention of forming a security partnership that can then patrol the seas and provide general security for the Korean peninsula as well as the islands of Japan on a mutual basis. A missile shield should be robustly and fully deployed in the region.
Policy Issue II: The DPRK maintains a military comprising 1.2 million personnel, including 1 million in the army, 60,000 in the navy, and 120,000 in the air force. The ROK 2014 Defense White Paper estimates North Korea fields 74 maneuver brigades consisting of 4,300 tanks, 2,500 armored vehicles, 8,600 cannons, and 5,500 multiple rocket launchers. The navy reportedly possesses 430 combatant vessels, 260 amphibious ships, 20 mine warfare vessels, and 70 submarines. The air force fields 820 combat aircraft, 30 surveillance and control aircraft, 330 transport craft, 170 trainers, and 300 helicopters. North Korea has one of the world’s largest special operations forces, estimated at 60,000 to 180,000.
Policy Prescription: Coordinate with allies including the ROK, Japan, and Australia to create a North East Asian mutual defense force. This mutual defense force would be composed of western military technology, and would be manned by both western, and Japanese, and ROK soldiers. In the future policy should take into account the ability for Japan to build a non-self defense force indigenously while simultaneously partnering with American and other western defense contractors.
Policy Issue III: The North Korean regime’s primary goal is to perpetuate the personality cult of the Kim family. The risk posed by the regime’s weapons and behavior is severe, particularly the potential for crisis instability and the regime’s record of human rights abuses, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and illicit activities such as counterfeiting, drug tracking, and human tracking. North Korea still seeks reunification of the peninsula through overthrow of the rival regime in the South. This objective has been stymied by successful deterrence on the part of the U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) alliance.
Policy Prescription: Further strengthen U.S. to ROK ties with the implicit goal of the ROK being able to defend itself in the event of confrontation. Continue to provide security even then, and order a review of U.S. forces Korea with the intention of building jointness between the U.S. and the new ROK forces. Become proactive to the threat of younger generation in the ROK’s sentiment and allow for their voices to be heard while simultaneously smoothing relations between the younger generation and the ROK government. Also proactively seek out the addition of U.S. and ROK special operations forces(SOF) with express intent of increasing jointness and contingency preparation.
Policy Issue IV: China almost certainly wants to assert its maritime dominance without triggering a regional backlash.
Policy Prescription: Work with allies such as India to guarantee safe passage through the Spratly Islands chain by deploying naval assets which will intimidate and modulate the Chinese as they assert their right to the nine dash line in the South China Sea.
Policy Issue V: China and the DPRK seek a more robust Cyber espionage capability that will allow for complete dominance in the space against its enemies.
Policy Prescription: In 2011, the United States issued an International Strategy for Cyberspace that supported principles such as upholding fundamental freedom, respect for property, valuing privacy, protection from crime, and the right of self-defense.3 In addition to these principles, the administration encouraged norms of global interoperability, network stability, reliable access, multi stake holder governance, and cybersecurity due diligence. Operationalizing this strategy requires a concerted effort to engage regional states, particularly the quickly growing and deeply interconnected network of Asian economies.
Policy Issue VI: China’s rise is certainly the most dramatic change in Asia, but it is not the only state-based challenge to regional security. Another danger stems from North Korea’s continuing security threat to its neighbors in Northeast Asia. North Korean provocations remain a concern, such as the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan, North Korea’s unfettered nuclear and missile programs, and the risk that the regime may pursue provocative and coercive approaches with increased impunity. The Korean peninsula has grown more unstable since Kim Jong-un succeeded his father as supreme leader, as evidenced by North Korea’s continued violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions and by the execution of Kim’s powerful uncle Jang Sung-taek.
Policy Prescription: Engage the DPRK diplomatically and allow for a modicum of prestige to be apparent in the DPRK while at the same time reviling, through the UNGA, and Security Council the abhorrent atrocities which have taken place with the express intent of further isolating the regime and coaxing them to give up their nuclear weapons, through nation state pressures.
Policy Issue VII: Similarly, the acquisition and development of longer-range UAVs will increase China’s ability to conduct long-range reconnaissance and strike operations. China is advancing its development and employment of UAVs. Some estimates indicate China plans to produce upwards of 41,800 land- and sea-based unmanned systems, worth about $10.5 billion, between 2014 and 2023.
Policy Prescription: Continue to develop Anti Submarine Warfare ordinance, and Unmanned Submersibles. Allow for the acquisition by the ROK, and Japan of new technologies in the unmanned vehicle drone sphere, and integrate them into the regional alliance architecture.