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Extended Deterrence and Korean Peninsula

The US’ extended deterrence concept on the Korean peninsula has been largely successful in deterring North Korean aggression for decades. Despite the ongoing tensions between the two countries, North Korea has not engaged in any major military action since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

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The South Korean president said in a newspaper interview that Seoul and Washington were in “talks on joint planning and exercises involving US nuclear assets to counter North Korea’s nuclear threats.” This was immediately denied by the US authorities, fearful of the consequences this could have for the negative peace on the Korean Peninsula. This is emblematic of the probable transitions in the dynamics of power competition worldwide generally and on the Korean Peninsula specifically.

The United States has protected its core allies against all belligerents by asserting its ability to deal with threats anywhere in the world. As the credibility of the US’ capabilities has always been well-known, extended deterrence has provided the necessary capabilities and confidence to the US allies.

Read more: South Korean President vows to ‘punish’ North Korea

The concept of extended deterrence is one that has been employed by the United States (US) for decades in order to protect its allies and interests abroad. This concept relies on the idea that the US can use its military capabilities to threaten potential adversaries, thereby discouraging them from engaging in hostile action. It is an important tool for the US in its foreign policy strategy and has been used in many different contexts over the years, ranging from the Cold War to the crises in the Middle East. One of the most important contexts in which extended deterrence is relevant is on the Korean peninsula, where tensions between North Korea and South Korea have been high for decades.

The US Extended Deterrence Concept on the Korean Peninsula

The US has employed a strategy of extended deterrence on the Korean peninsula for decades in order to deter potential aggression from North Korea. This strategy has relied on the idea that the US can use its military capabilities to threaten North Korea, and thereby discourage it from engaging in hostile action. The US has employed a number of different tactics in this regard, ranging from diplomatic efforts to economic sanctions.

However, the most important component of the US extended deterrence strategy on the Korean peninsula is the presence of US military forces in South Korea. The US maintains a significant military presence in South Korea, which serves as a constant reminder to North Korea of the potential consequences of military aggression. In addition, the US has conducted a number of joint military exercises with South Korea in order to demonstrate its commitment to defending the Korean peninsula.

The US’ extended deterrence concept on the Korean peninsula has been largely successful in deterring North Korean aggression for decades. Despite the ongoing tensions between the two countries, North Korea has not engaged in any major military action since the end of the Korean War in 1953. This is likely due in large part to the US’ strategy of extended deterrence, which has served as a powerful deterrent to North Korean aggression.

Read more: South Korean military apologizes for response to drone incident

Lessons from Ukraine

Despite the US’ success in deterring North Korean aggression, the situation in Ukraine provides a cautionary tale for the US’ extended deterrence concept. In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, despite the fact that Ukraine had been a US ally since 1992. This event demonstrated the limits of the US’ extended deterrence concept, as the presence of US forces in Ukraine was not enough to deter Russia from taking aggressive action. This suggests that the US’ extended deterrence concept is not infallible and that it can be circumvented by determined adversaries.

Ukraine’s experience has several important lessons for the world. First, it demonstrates that extended deterrence is not a foolproof strategy and that it can be circumvented by determined adversaries. This suggests that the US must be prepared for the possibility that its extended deterrence strategy may not be enough to prevent hostile action from occurring. Second, it highlights the importance of diplomatic and economic measures in deterring aggression.

The US’ economic sanctions against Russia, for example, may have been more effective in deterring Russian aggression than its extended deterrence strategy. Finally, it suggests that the US must be willing to use military force in order to defend its allies and interests abroad. The US’ failure to intervene militarily in Ukraine likely contributed to Russia’s decision to annex the Crimean Peninsula, and this serves as a reminder that the US must be prepared to use military force in order to defend its allies and interests abroad.

Read more: South Korean military retrieved North Korean missile debris

The US extended deterrence might not be able to hold on to the Korean peninsula in the future because of the changing geopolitical landscape. As North Korea continues to develop its nuclear arsenal, the credibility of the US’ security guarantee will not be the same as it used to be. Additionally, the US is increasingly focusing its attention on its competition with China, which could lead to a shift in US policy toward North Korea that does not involve a security guarantee. As tensions between the US and North Korea continue to escalate, the possibility of a successful US extended deterrence holding on to the Korean peninsula is becoming increasingly unlikely. Thus, extended deterrence is eroding, and it is clearly evident. Ukraine has taught the world a lesson; this needs to be taken seriously.

 

The writer is working as a Research Officer at CISS AJK. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.