Author Topic: article: Korea (South Korea or future united Korea) to be next superpower  (Read 18049 times)

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Offline S.M.A.

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Now imagine if the North re-united soon with the South and reached the same level of development decades later under an ROK government? A challenge for the ROK government similar to the way East Germany was absorbed and developed after the post-Cold War German reunification?  Unlikely for now, but still food for thought.

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The Next Global Superpower is... Korea?
By admin
Created 02/24/2010 - 10:19


Hank Hyena

Korea?! Are you scoffing? Readers, when you spied my headline did you think, “Mr. Hyena’s insane! Korea’s not a superpower; it’s a dwarf peninsula shuddering in China and Japan’s shadow! Korea’s a bisected baby-tiger south / starving-hermit north mess! Korea? Superpower?! Absurd!” Hear me out, netizens. I’ve categorized abundant facts explaining why a unified Korea (or even a solitary south) will emerge as world leader. It’s already preeminent in crucial categories. South Korea is not the destitute orphan pickled vegetable of the 1960’s or the laughable Hyundai of the mid-1980’s. SK is wired, willing, savvy, sexy and it works harder than any other hominid nation. Reunited with its surly sibling, it’ll be the Seoul center of the planet.

Direct E-Democracy: As the “most wired nation,” South Korea is 15 years ahead of the USA in broadband speed with 95% of its households online. Connectivity is aided by cramped population density in a tiny land — imagine 50 million people in Kentucky. South Korea dwells in a futuristic web frenzy with obsessive chat-room flaming, gambling, porn, games, avatar identity and social networking. The political plus: a vigorous “digital populism” instigated by bloggers and citizen reporters. Online residents of SK have overwhelmed corporate media, destroyed celebrity reputations and organized violent massive street protests at blazing speed. Politicians are now attentive. South Korea is consistently voted “Best E-Government Nation” because popular opinion is carefully consulted via government email, online polls and cyber forums.


Hardworking Economy:
In 1960, SK was a famished pauper with a per capita annual income of $100. Since then, “The Miracle on the Han River” has boasted the world’s most explosive economy; 8.7% annual growth from 1960-1990 transformed it from agricultural hick into techno-metro sophisticate. SK is #1 in digital technology, #1 in shipbuilding, it constructed the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa in Dubai), the largest shopping center (Shisegae Centrum City), the biggest boat (cruise ship “Oasis of the Seas”), it houses Samsung, LG Electronics, Hyundai-Kia, Cyworld, POSCO, etc. How’d SK do it? Relentless education, long work hours (2,390 hours per person annually, 34% more than Americans) and brave creativity — they own the 3rd largest number of patents and they’re the “Most Innovative Country” according to Global Innovation Index. Meanwhile, though North Korea is one of the globe’s poorest nations — its citizens average 4 inches shorter in height than southerners due to malnutrition — it does have mineral wealth. Goldman-Sachs believes a unified Korean economy could rival Japan’s by mid-century.

Robot Future: South Korea is programming itself to become Cyborg Central and I wouldn’t wager a won against them. Currently ranked 6th in the world, the government is investing $750 million to become the world leader by 2018. Here’s a quintet of recent robo-projects: 1) They invented Mahru-Z (a blue “boy”) and Mahru-M (pink & female) — household helpers touted as the world’s most advanced ’bots in mimicry of human movement. 2) They're building “Robot Land” — a combination grad school, R & D robotics center, and theme park with 340 robots, including 364-foot tall Robot Taekwon U, known as Voltar the Invincible to Americans. 3) They’re developing English-teaching robots to replace up to 30,000 human instructors at language institutes. 4) The government’s goal is to get a service robot into every home by 2020; one might be “Sil-bot,” a companion for elderly who plays games and maintains simple chitchat. 5) The DMZ inspired an “Intelligence Surveillance and Guard Robot” that detects and interrogates intruders, sounds alarms, and can fire with a Daewoo K-3 machine gun. Robot sales will soar exponentially in the next decade, with SK poised to prosper.

Military Might: Do you regard Korea as a frail, tiny protuberance? Ponder this incredible math — combine the active forces and reserves of both NK + SK and you get The Biggest Army in the World (wiki reference below). That’s right: Korea has 10.2 million soldiers, triple the USA military (3.3 million) and towering over even China (7.02 million). A unified peninsula would possess both northern nukes and tunnel-building skills plus southern shipbuilding prowess. I’m not saying a whole Korea would be the toughest tiger, but Japan and China won’t be waltzing in like they have throughout history. Globalfirepower.com rates the SK forces as 12th worldwide with NK at #20, and many pundits believe joint-Korea military strength is the principal reason Japan and China oppose reunification.
Massive Mineral Wealth: More arithmetic for you: The Rand Corporation estimates the cost of Korean reunification at $50 billion, Credit Suisse insists $1.5 trillion is the expense, and Stanford fellow Peter M. Beck posits an alarmist $2-$5 trillion. Question: Who’s got that kind of cash? Answer: North Korean mines. 360 minerals are sequestered in the Hermit Kingdom’s caves, many trapped by flooding and NK’s appalling infrastructure. Billions of tons of coal, iron, zinc, magnesite, nickel, uranium, tungsten, phosphate, graphite, gold, silver, mercury, sulfur, limestone, copper, manganese, molybdenum... worth an estimated $2-$6 trillion (Goldman Sach’s figure is $2.5 trillion). Reunification could be entirely paid for by these mines, perhaps with change left over.

Education & IQ Edge: Serious schooling is credited as the main ingredient in South Korea’s leap from rags-to-riches. SKs between 25-34 years old are now more likely to have an upper secondary education (97%) than anyone else in the world (claims an OECD report) and they’re #1 in reading and #4 in math (noted the 2007 Program for International Student Assessment). This places SK at #2 on the planet, behind Finland, even though SK is burdened with the largest class size in upper grades (20.1 Finns, 35.6 SKs). In 2005, more South Koreans were accepted into Harvard and Yale than Chinese or Indians, even though those nationalities outnumber them 22-1. Not coincidentally, South Korea also boasts the highest IQ of any nation, with Kim Ung-Yong as global champ. His IQ is estimated at 210. He could proficiently read Korean, Japanese, German and English when he was three years old.

In 1960, South Korea was a famished pauper with a per capita annual income of $100. 8.7% annual growth from 1960-1990 transformed it from agricultural hick into techno-metro sophisticate.

Green Goals
: SK President Lee Myung-bak — a keynote speaker at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen — promotes an ambitious 20-year “low carbon, green growth” plan to vault his nation into world eco-leadership. Recent polls reveal that 53% of South Koreans view ecology as more important than economic growth. Responding to this are mind-boggling, beautiful eco-urban designs swarming out of Seoul: “farmpartments” for city vegetables, 50-floor towers constructed of geo-textiles and photovoltaic glass (Seoul Commune 2026), and giant greenhouse eco-domes (Ecorium Project nature reserve). Hyundai is racing hard to be car champion of fuel efficiency with its Hybrid Blue Drive. President Lee (surnames are first in Korean) was launched into office because he was the wildly popular mayor of Seoul, largely because he restored the Cheonggyecheon stream that was buried under concrete in the 1970’s, and established “Seoul Forest.”

Cyber Warriors: Cyberwar is the “warfare of the future... cyber attacks have the potential to damage our way of life as devastatingly as a nuclear weapon,” claims former director of US National Intelligence Michael McConnell. North Korea is prepared for this combat. Its elite corps of perhaps 1,000 cyber soldiers has already disrupted USA and South Korean networks. North Korean hacker-attackers are as skilled as the American CIA, claims Byun Jae-jung, researcher at South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development. (The USA is ranked best in the world by McConnell.) To counter NK viral intrusion, SK has assembled its own squad of 3,000 computer specialists. The resulting cyber-standoff duplicates the 38th parallel stalemate. Compelled by fear of each other, North and South Korea are developing cyber battle-skills superior to other nations. This will merge if they’re ever reunified.

K-Culture: Intense interest in South Korean socio-cultural products — dubbed “hallyu” (craze for all things Korean) or “Korean fever” or “Korean wave” — is a tsunami that’s engulfing the world. A 23-year-old Cambodian man interviewed by The Economist (1/25/10) dismissed American and Japanese cultures as “insipid relics” that have been conquered by the lure of hallyu. South Korean soap operas, video games, K-pop, fashion, and movie stars are obsessions throughout Asia, and in distant locales such as Chile, Hungary, Mexico, Norway, and Argentina. SK movie stars are mobbed at airports and chased by women on scooters; SK black market DVDs are sold in North Korea for ten times the price of American DVDs ($3.75 vs. 35 cents), and South Korea sells ten times as many cultural products to China as vice-versa. Why are youth infected with Korean fever? Is it the portrayal of a techie-mod lifestyle? Is it the emotionality and desirability of its stars? (Koreans are known as the “Italians of Asia” and a Washington Post reporter described SK male actors as “sensitive but totally ripped.”) Is any of this economically or politically important? Yes and yes. Seoul’s cultural exports double or triple every three years, and their trend-setting success sells other SK products, everything from shampoo to sweaters. Hallyu also promotes tourism, and former President Roo Moo-hyun once predicted that “hallyu will reunite the peninsula.”

Conclusion: I’m already a fan of kim chee and my cell phone is a crimson Samsung. In the future I might buy an eco-Avante, I might live in either a seasteading village-vessel made in Korea, or in a green sky-tower community designed and built by Koreans. At night, while my Korean robots clean house and cook dinner, I might relax in my Korean pajamas and watch Korean cinema on my giant plasma screen made in Korea. My conversation might be sprinkled with Korean words that I use to describe my new culture. Life is accelerating, and Koreans seem like they may be moving faster than anyone. I applaud the “Miracle on the Han River.” I admire their ability to jump out of the poverty ditch. South Korea is an inspiration. So will Korea be #1? In the last fifty years SK exceeded everyone’s expectations, so I won’t underestimate their ability, their perseverance, and their future.

Hank Hyena is editor of The Extropist Examiner http://www.extropism.com, and his blog is at http://hankhyena.net.

Resources:
Rosie The Robot Maid
http://www.hplusmagazine.com/editors-blog/rosie-robot-maid

The Future is Now in South Korea
http://www.knightcentercommunityconnection...in-south-korea/

The Bandwidth Capital of the World
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.08/korea.html

South Korea Continues to Lead World in Global e-Government
http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2007/0...al-e-government

N. Korea Cashes In on Mineral Riches
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...8022300695.html

South Korea’s Education Success
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4240668.stm

Hallyu, Yeah! A “Korean Wave” Washes Warmly Over Asia
http://bx.businessweek.com/entertainment-i...3Dhptextfeature

South Korea: A Country Driven by Success
http://www.telecomengine.com/article.asp?HH_ID=AR_5324

How Cyberwar is Heating Up
http://hplusmagazine.com/articles/politics...ber-war-heating
« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 17:52:18 by CougarDaddy »
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Online E.R. Campbell

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Caution: I'm resurrecting an old thread in order to avoid starting a new one.

Korea is an interesting place ~ at the centre of a crisis zone, to be sue, but also a growing economic and industrial power in its own right.

Its choice of the F-15SE ovre the F-35, which is discussed in this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from The World Outline, may tell us something about how Korea sees its current strategic situation and the prospects for reunification:

http://theworldoutline.com/2013/09/south-korea-lost-east-asian-stealth-race/
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Has South Korea lost the East Asian stealth race?

September 1, 2013

On August 18th South Korea selected Boeing’s F-15SE Silent Eagle as the sole candidate for Phase III of its Fighter eXperimental Project (F-X) over Lockheed Martin’s F-35A and the Eurofighter Typhoon. The decision has drawn vociferous criticism from defense experts who fear the selection of F-15SE may not provide the South Korean military with the sufficient Required Operational Capabilities (ROCs) to counterbalance Japan and China’s acquisition of 5th generation stealth fighters.

In hindsight, Zachary Keck of The Diplomat believes that Republic of Korea’s (ROK) preference for the F-15SE over two other competitors was “unsurprising.” After all, Boeing won the previous two fighter competitions with its F-15-K jet. In 2002 and 2008, South Korea bought a total of 61 F-15K jets from Boeing. South Korea’s predilection for the F-15SE is understandable given its 85% platform compatibility with the existing F-15Ks.

However, the most convincing explanation seems to be the fear of “structural disarmament” of the ROK Air Force should it choose to buy yet another batch of expensive fighters to replace the aging F-4 Phantom and F-5 Tiger fighters. Simply stated, the more advanced the fighter jet, the more costly it is. The more expensive the jet, the fewer the South Korean military can purchase. The fewer stealth fighters purchased, the smaller the ROK Air Force.

Indeed, the limitations of South Korea’s US$7.43 billion budget for fighter acquisition and procurement (A & P) seems to have been the primary motivating factor in selecting the F-15SE. As Soon-ho Lee warned last month, “if the F-X project is pursued as planned, the ROK Air Force may have to scrap the contentious Korean Fighter eXperimental (KFX) project, which [may leave] the ROK Air Force [with] only around 200 fighters.”

The F-15SE enjoyed an undeniable price advantage in competition with the F-35A. Though the F-15SE does not actually exist yet, the New Pacific Institute estimates by looking at previous F-15 K sticker pricesthat a sixty plane order would cost $6 billion. The latest estimates from the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin put the unit cost of an F-35A at approximately $100 million, plus $16 million for the engine. Under this new price target (which may prove optimistic), 60 F-35As could cost the ROK over $7 billion.

But now that the decision has been made, how will the purchase of the F-15SE affect the ROK military’s operational and strategic capabilities?

The acquisition of the F-15SE would have little to no impact on South Korea’s current air superiority over the North. The gap in air power is simply too wide. As James Hardy of IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly wrote last year, “Estimates by IHS Jane’s reckon that North Korea has only 35 or so MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum’ air-supremacy fighters in service, alongside about 260 obsolete MiG-21 ‘Fishbeds’ and MiG-19 ‘Farmers.’” This may explain Jae Jung Suh’s of John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies claim that “quantitative advantage quickly fades when one takes account of the qualitative disadvantages of operating its 1950s-vintage weapons systems.”

That said,  as I noted in my previous article, the factors fueling the arms race among the major East Asian powers are two-fold: the ongoing territorial rows over disputed islands and seas, and the fear of their rival’s future capabilities. These two factors account for the fact that defense budget increases and acquisition of improved capabilities by China, Japan, and South Korea were reactions to perceived threats posed by their rivals’ attempts to rearm themselves.

This helps to explain why many South Korean defense analysts and ROK Air Force officers are outraged by the Park Geun-hye Administration’s decision to stick with plans to purchase the F-15SE. In a recent telephone interview, a friend of mine of who is a retired ROK Air Force major told me that the ROK’s  purchase of F-15SE is akin to  “buying premium DOS Operating System instead of purchasing Windows 8.” In other words, some ROK defense analysts and many of its Air Force officers believe that the F-15 series is obsolescent and does not measure up to Japan’s planned purchase of the F-35 or China’s indigenous production of the J-20.

But in order to achieve regional strategic parity with its powerful neighbors, South Korea must spend at least 90% of what its rivals spend on their national defense. The ROK’s  $31.8 billion defense budget pales in comparison to China’s $166 billion. And it is still substantially smaller than Japan’s $46.4 billion. Exacerbating this problem is the current administration’s reluctance to increase the ROK defense budget in the face of decreasing tax revenues and soaring welfare expenditure.

No matter which stealth fighter the ROK chooses, the ROK’s defense budget is inadequate to achieve strategic and tactical air parity with its rivals or tip the regional balance of power in its favor.

Despite the fiscal constraints imposed by the Park Geun-hye Administration, there are alternative solutions the ROK can consider to meet its strategic needs.

One option would be to delay purchasing a new aircraft. This option would give Lockheed Martin time to enter mass production of the aircraft, at which time it might be able to offer a more affordable price.  Lockheed has pledged to “work with the U.S. government on its offer of the F-35 fighter for [the ROK].” But if that offer does not translate into cheaper unit costs, it is meaningless. Even if Seoul agrees to buy the F-35, the structural disarmament that could result combined with budget shortfalls could cripple the ROK Air Force’s operational readiness.

Another option would be to reduce the size and budget of the ROK Army to accommodate the purchase of either the F-35 or the Eurofighter. But since the ROK Armed Forces remains Army-centric given the military threat from North Korea, this seems unlikely.  As Michael Raska of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies has written, “the composition, force structure and deployment of the ROK military have each remained relatively unchanged” and will remain so in the years to come.

A more pragmatic approach would be to cancel the F-X purchase program and focus on enhancing its indigenous Korean Fighter eXperimental (KFX) program first unveiled in 2011. Since both Indonesia and the United States have agreed to work with the ROK in developing the 5th generation fighter program, the proposed KFX could be less challenging and costly to develop. Such a program could mitigate structural disarmament dynamics and enable a smoother transition if the ROK can eventually afford to purchase the F-35 rather than the F-15SE.

Finally, the ROK could consider a commitment to developing Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) to minimize the potential strategic imbalance. In 1999, when UCAVs were still in incipient stages of development, the Executive Editor of the Air Force Magazine John A. Tirpak predicted  that “the UCAV could be smaller and stealthier than a typical fighter…[all at one-third the cost of an] F-35.” Indeed, the ROK plans to revive the “once-aborted program to develop mid-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (MUAV) to bolster its monitoring capabilities of North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs.”

Contrary to the popular belief among many South Korean defense analysts, the ROK cannot come up with the defense budget to match its rivals. So long as that’s true, the type of stealth fighter chosen will have little or no effect on the ROK’s ability to achieve strategic and tactical air parity with its neighbors. The ROK can, however, avoid severe gaps in air power stemming from potential structural disarmament by reexamining the development of indigenous stealth fighters and UCAVs.

(This article was originally published on RealClearDefense and is cross-posted by permission.)


The question, for me, is "who does Korea expect to fight?"

     North Korea? YES! Does it really need the F-35 against NK? NO! The F-15SE will be more than adequate?

     China? NO!

     Japan? NO!

     India? NO!

     Russia? Maybe ... not an immediate threat, nor a major one, but still a maybe. Does a maybe justify the F-35?

It seems to me that Korea is making a very rational strategic decision reflecting its own national priorities and the strategic realities of its region. It must be prepared to blow North Korea's air force out of the skies in the first few minutes of any war and then use its own air power to hammer North Korea's land forces. It does not expect to have to fight against anyone else; it doesn't need to overcome the Chinese J-20s or J-31s or Japanese F-35s because it cannot imagine going to war against either.

Thus the article is asking the wrong question: the issue is not "has Korea lost the Asian stealth race?" The right question is: "does Korea have an adequate air superiority over North Korea, with a margin to deal with other, potential threats?"



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Offline Journeyman

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A recurring argument, much to the chagrin of those trumpeting for the latest and greatest in technologies.....
Quote
However, the most convincing explanation seems to be the fear of “structural disarmament” of the ROK Air Force should it choose to buy yet another batch of expensive fighters to replace the aging F-4 Phantom and F-5 Tiger fighters. Simply stated, the more advanced the fighter jet, the more costly it is. The more expensive the jet, the fewer the South Korean military can purchase. The fewer stealth fighters purchased, the smaller the ROK Air Force.

The reality is, no one has a limitless defence budget.  Only a few countries believe they have; some others have lobbyists and cheerleaders pushing the envelope.  South Korea is (and hopefully Canada will be) amongst those who understand the effect of fiscal limits on structural disarmament.

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ERC:
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The question, for me, is "who does Korea expect to fight?"

     North Korea? YES! Does it really need the F-35 against NK? NO! The F-15SE will be more than adequate?

     China? NO!
 

That is, of course, assuming the China will not intervene on the part of North Korea when ROK/US forces near the Yalu River as happened in 1950. As you have stated before, China wants the US out and could live with one Korea.

If NK invades, are the US Forces in Korea considered a UN Force operating with the mandate of the UN to defend SK? If yes, what is their status if they, with the ROK push to the Yalu River?
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 13:25:14 by Rifleman62 »
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Offline S.M.A.

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ERC:
That is, of course, assuming the China will not intervene on the part of North Korea when ROK/US forces near the 38th Parallel as happened in 1950. As you have stated before, China wants the US out and could live with one Korea.

If NK invades, are the US Forces in Korea considered a UN Force operating with the mandate of the UN to defend SK? If yes, what is their status if they, with the ROK push to the 38th?

Don't you mean the Yalu River? When talking about military history, the "38th parallel" refers to the Demilitarized Zone/DMZ, which is near the pre-war borders of North and South Korea.

Chinese forces only intervened in 1950 after US-UN forces approached the Yalu River, which pretty much delineates the border between North Korea and China.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 12:56:38 by S.M.A. »
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Rifleman62: You need to look at capital inflows, into China. South Korea is both a major investor in China and a major market for Chinese goods and services. North Korea is a net drain on China ~ it invests noting, not a ₩, but they consume loads of Chinese food and financial aid. North Korea is an occasionally helpful client ~ helpful in that they keep America and Japan off balance, but South Korea is a partner. That's why the South Koreans do not fear China.

If (when?) China intervenes in the Korean peninsula it will be reunify Korea under a capitalist, democratic government from Seoul.

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Offline Rifleman62

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Yes, Thanks S.M.A.

Correct the error on my post.
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

Offline S.M.A.

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North Korea? YES! Does it really need the F-35 against NK? NO! The F-15SE will be more than adequate?


Mr. Campbell,

Would you still stand behind your post above even as South Korea goes back to considering the F-35?

F35 back in the running for South Korea's Fighter contest (update at army.ca's F-35/JSF thread)
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Mr. Campbell,

Would you still stand behind your post above even as South Korea goes back to considering the F-35?

F35 back in the running for South Korea's Fighter contest (update at army.ca's F-35/JSF thread)


The F-35 is, certainly, a superior airplane. The question is: does SK need it? My guess is still No.

Old saying where I used to work: the best is the bitter ~ and expensive ~ enemy of the good enough.

Another old saying: we spend 25% of the budget for the last 5% of performance.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Thucydides

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When looking at their air force, they need to balance factors like costs, commonality with the current fleet, the probable threat and their own doctrine. Whie in many senses the F-35 may well be "superior", if the ROK has decided they need a bomb truck that is compatable with the current fleet of bomb trucks, then the F-15 may actually be the better choice.

Indeed, given the rough terrain of Korea and the probable threat, one might actually ask why they didn't buy dozens of A-10's instead?

Of course, if you start to apply that analysis to the RCAF, then you might come up with some very different answers than the CF-35 as well.....
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Can you be a super power without haing nukes?

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Also, China will not risk it's economic relations with the US over NK. If NK attacks SK, China will sit down and watch the US knocking NK down.

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Also, China will not risk it's economic relations with the US over NK. If NK attacks SK, China will sit down and watch the US knocking NK down.


If NK attacks SK China will be the one taking NK down. Both Koreas are in China's sphere of influence, and America's capacity to do anything is very, very limited.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Can you be a superpower without oil ?

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Can you be a superpower without oil ?


You can as long as:

     1. The US Navy maintains freedom of the seas for all; and

     2. The markets remain (relatively) free.

If either of those fail you have a discussion with Russia and the 'Stans about who gets their oil. In fact you have those discussions anyway ... that's one of the reasons why China keeps the Shanghai Cooperation Council going.

Edit to add:

For more on that subject, see here, especially this bit: "much as it was for Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, oil is China’s Achilles’ heel. Chinese domestic oil production supplies only 40% of peacetime consumption and demand continues to increase, even during periods of zero or negative growth in exports (see 2001 and 2009).  Another advantage of targeting oil is the ease of discrimination.  An oil tanker is a unique vessel, easing the blockaders’ burden when identifying and prioritizing targets.  Significant smuggling of oil in other types of ships is impractical.  In addition, China would have a hard time importing enough oil over land due to difficult terrain, underdeveloped pipelines and competition for Russian oil ... [but] ... China recognizes its reliance on foreign oil and has taken steps to reduce its vulnerability to supply disruptions.  Specifically, China has established a robust strategic oil reserve.   China’s 2011 strategic oil reserve was sufficient to supply 100% of domestic consumption (factoring in domestic production) for 25 days without rationing.  Improvements to this reserve are planned to more than double its duration by 2020, even factoring in an increase in Chinese oil demand."
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 07:32:10 by E.R. Campbell »
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If NK attacks SK China will be the one taking NK down.

Mr. Campbell,

Did you not say this statement from the North Korea super thread that describes a Chinese intervention into North Korea as unlikely?  I reposted it below:

On the issue of refugees: the Chinese do not want more refugees from the DPRK than they have; but they do not send legitimate refugees back to North Korea, they are allowed to stay in China, so long as they don't cause any problems, and fend for themselves, as well as they can.

Finally: a Chinese invasion of the DPRK is not simple. Look at the map: there are few bridges across the Yalu River and those that exist are medium capacity, two lane bridges. (The DPRK just agreed, after years and years of negotiations to one four lane bridge but construction has not started.) Regions where the Yalu is not a major obstacle are far from Chinese rail and road links and far from important DPRK objectives. The Chinese army has changed a lot over the past few decades. It no longer consists of huge corps of infantry and artillery. It is, now, a much smaller, much more technically complex and sophisticated force - it far outclasses the DPRK army but it can no longer concentrate and outnumber or even outgun it in Shenyang Military Region.


Tomahawk6,

Your navy, a global force for good.  :nod:


     1. The US Navy maintains freedom of the seas for all...

« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 11:05:37 by S.M.A. »
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Mr. Campbell,

Did you not say this statement from the North Korea super thread that describes a Chinese intervention into North Korea as unlikely?
  I reposted it below:


Tomahawk6,

Your navy, a global force for good.  :nod:


I most certainly did and I still take that view, but, as I said then, any Chinese intervention is unlikely in the normal, ongoing course of events in which North Korea discomfits America. I think, and I said, a direct attack on South Korea is a different problem., As I said: China will "not tolerate any military action much beyond sinking a South Korean patrol boat or shooting down a ROK aircraft." Despite the practical, logistical difficulties, in the event of a DPRK attack on South Korea, I think China could and would deal quickly, brutally and effectively with the DPRK before any significant US military action could occur.

     China cannot afford to lose South Korea as a friend.

     China cannot afford to allow the USA to assert itself on the Asian mainland.


Those are strategic imperatives; they are worth sacrificing the DPRK. In fact a reunified Korea, without a US military presence, is a much coveted "prize" and the Maoist nutbars in Pyongyang are very much worth trading for that.


Edit: typos and punctuation.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 12:33:21 by E.R. Campbell »
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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North Korea's saber rattling and China's opaqueness aside, doesn't anyone here think that the ROK is more than capable of a preemptive war to seize all of North Korea? Qualitatively, it has a better military, both in training and in equipment supplied by the many Chaebols (South Korean giant corporate conglomerates that rival Japan's Zaibatsu), such as Hyundai. Some say this qualitative advantage nullifies North Korea's numerical advantage.

While Seoul lacks nuclear weapons, wouldn't decapitating the North Korean leadership with conventionally-armed missiles like these be enough to sow confusion among the DPRK forces enough for the ROK to the take initiative?

Defense News


Quote
S. Korea Parades New N. Korea-Focused Missile

SEOUL — Tanks rumbled through downtown Seoul on Tuesday, as South Korea staged its largest military display in a decade and paraded a missile capable of high-precision strikes anywhere in North Korea.

President Park Geun-Hye warned of the “very grave” threat posed by Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program as the two-part display began at an airbase south of the capital in the morning.

Some 11,000 troops and 120 aircraft took part in the event, which showcased the military’s most advanced weaponry as US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel looked on.

Hagel was on a visit to underscore US commitment to its military alliance with South Korea where 28,500 US troops are currently stationed.

“The situation on the Korean Peninsula ... is very grave,” Park warned in her speech at the event marking the 65th anniversary of the founding of South Korea’s armed forces.

“North Korea adamantly continues to develop and upgrade its nuclear weapons,” Park said, adding that the South had no option but to boost its military deterrent in response.

She specifically cited the development of sophisticated missile interceptor systems capable of neutralizing a North Korean strike.

“I believe that the true purpose of the military lies not in fighting a war but preventing one,” she said.


The defense ministry said Tuesday’s display was the largest since 2003.

Hardware included the Hyeonmu 3, an indigenously developed cruise missile that was first deployed on naval destroyers in November last year and had not been shown in public before.

Two days after North Korea carried out its third nuclear test on Feb. 12, the South’s defense ministry called in the media for a video presentation showing the capabilities of the Hyeonmu, which has a range of 1,000 kilometers (around 600 miles).

“It is a precision-guided weapon that can identify and strike the office window of the North’s command headquarters,” ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok told reporters at the time.

The missile was displayed again in the afternoon as a pared-down version of the parade moved to central Seoul, huge sections of which had been closed off to traffic for hours in advance.

The tanks, mounted heavy artillery, mobile missile launchers and marching soldiers paraded down a 1.4-kilometer route from the city’s ancient South Gate towards the landmark Gyeongbok Palace.

Such events are generally considered more of a North Korean specialty, with massive, highly choreographed parades involving tens of thousands of goose-stepping troops regularly staged in Pyongyang.

The North’s nuclear test triggered two months of heightened military tensions on the Korean peninsula, with Pyongyang threatening pre-emptive nuclear strikes on South Korea and the United States.

Those tensions have eased since, but acute concerns remain over the North’s nuclear program with signs that it is expanding its production of weapons-grade fissile material.

South Korea has cited the growing nuclear threat from Pyongyang to back its request for extending US command of combined US and South Korean forces in the event of war with the North.

South Korea is scheduled to take over wartime operational command in 2015, but defense policymakers now say they need more time to prepare for the transition.

Hagel will discuss the issue with his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan-Jin on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the aircraft carrier USS George Washington is due to arrive in the South Korean port of Busan on Thursday, together with a guided-missile cruiser and destroyer, the US Navy said in a statement.

The George Washington is expected to take part in a joint naval exercise with South Korean vessels next week in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 18:10:21 by S.M.A. »
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Offline Thucydides

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Since the response of the DPRK to a decapitating strike (or any military action) is unpredictable, I doubt the ROK sees amy scenarios where it is worth initiating military action against the North.

Although now getting a bit dated, Robert Kaplan's When North Korea Falls is still probably the best outline as to what the end game may look like. A rush to secure weapons sites, China sitting back and allowing the Americans to do the heavy lifting (and bear the costs) and the uncomfortable position of Japan vis a vi the newly created Greater Korea are all considerations that need to be considered, and how the calculus has changed since 2006 is also interesting to contemplate.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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S.Korea adding ski jump to Dokdo class assault carriers, more AEGIS ships
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2013, 11:59:27 »
The ROKN plans a larger blue water fleet expansion. More on the already operating Dokdo helicopter assault ships at this other link.

Defense News

Quote
S. Korea Envisions Light Aircraft Carrier

SEOUL — The South Korean Navy believes it can deploy two light aircraft carriers by 2036 and expand its blue-water force to cope with the rapid naval buildups of China and Japan, according to a Navy source.

The service has been exploring ways of securing light aircraft carriers based on an interim feasibility study, the source said.

“It’s a hope,” the Navy source said on condition of anonymity. “There are no fixed requirements at the moment, but we’ve been studying ways of launching light aircraft carriers over the next two decades.”

Rep. Chung Hee-soo of the ruling Saenuri Party revealed the contents of a program in a feasibility report last week.

“To cope with potential maritime disputes with neighboring countries, we need to secure aircraft carriers as soon as possible,” Chung, a member of the National Assembly’s Defense Committee, said during a confirmation hearing Oct. 11 for Adm. Choi Yoon-hee, new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “For more active international peacekeeping operations, our Navy should have carriers.”

According to Chung, the Navy envisions three phases:

The first is to equip the second ship of the Dokdo-class landing platform helicopter ship (LPH) with a ski ramp to operate short-range or vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

The flight surface of the landing ship is already sprayed with urethane, which can withstand the heat created by the aircraft during operations.

Dokdo, with the addition of a ski ramp, could be deployed before 2019, according to the report, which suggests the Navy procure used VTOL jets from the US, UK and Spain if needed.

■Second, the Navy could build an amphibious assault ship, similar to the Spanish Navy’s Juan Carlos, before 2019.

■Finally, the service aims to build two 30,000-ton light aircraft carriers between 2028 and 2036, the report said. The carrier is to have specifications similar to the Italian aircraft carrier Cavour, which can support about 30 aircraft.

“We should have capabilities to deter North Korea, and at the same time, we need minimal capabilities to respond to potential threats from neighboring countries,” Choi replied to Chung, apparently referring to the naval buildups of China and Japan.

China commissioned its first aircraft carrier last year, with three more carriers planned. Japan, whose Navy is classed as a self-defense force, has controversially unveiled a 20,000-ton helicopter destroyer akin to a small aircraft carrier.

More Aegis Ships and Jets
During the National Assembly last week, the Navy unveiled mid- to long-term procurement plans to further strengthen its naval power.

The service plans to commission three more 7,600-ton KDX-III Aegis destroyers by 2023 to develop a strategic mobile fleet. The service has three KDX-III destroyers fitted with Lockheed Martin-built SPY-1D radar capable of tracking incoming ballistic missiles and enemy aircraft.

“The construction of new Aegis ships could be completed earlier than scheduled,” Adm. Hwang Gi-chul, chief of naval operations, testified. “And the new Aegis ships will have better stealth functions than those with the existing ships.”

The Navy will also launch six, 5,900-ton next-generation destroyers — dubbed KDDX — after 2023.

The development of an attack submarine is on track, according to the Navy. The service plans to commission six more 1,800-ton Type 214 submarines to bring the 214 fleet to nine subs by 2023. After that, it will deploy nine, 3,000-ton heavy attack submarines codenamed KSS-III. The KSS-III is to be equipped with a vertical launch tube to fire a 1,500-kilometer cruise missile that can hit key targets in North Korea.

Other procurement plans include the FFX program to build a dozen new frigates with advanced sensors and a wide variety of weaponry. The FFX program is intended to replace the aging fleet of existing Ulsan class frigates and Pohang class corvettes with multimission frigates.

The 2,300- to 3,000-ton FFX vessels are to be built in two batches with an objective of putting up to 24 ships into service by 2026.


(...)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 12:08:30 by S.M.A. »
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Will this new "Silk Road" trading route actually integrate the two Koreas more and push them further towards reunification? And isn't this already a stretch of the ancient silk road comparison, considering that the original one actually stretched from the Middle East to just present-day Xinjiang?

Quote

Putin in S. Korea to push new 'Silk Road' via N. Korea

quote:

Seoul (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin was in South Korea Wednesday to push a pet project for a new major trading route linking Asia and Europe by rail that requires prying open North Korea.

Putin hopes his brief visit will include the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the ambitious project, which envisages an "Iron Silk Road" uniting the rail networks of South and North Korea and connecting them to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Russia took a first step in September, when it completed a 54-kilometre (33-mile) track from the its southeast border town of Khasan to the North Korean port of Rajin.

Located in the far northeast, where the borders of North Korea, Russia and China converge, Rajin offers a warm-water port for the North's two giant neighbours.

Putin's desire is to see the rail link extended through North Korea, across the world's last Cold War frontier, and all the way down to the southern South Korean port of Busan.

Media reports say Russia is looking for South Korea to take a 34 percent share in the project, with Moscow holding 36 percent and Pyongyang 30 percent.

...

"The idea itself makes perfect sense from a trade and economic viewpoint," [North Korean expert Andrei] Lankov told AFP.

"But this is clearly going to cost billions of dollars and what companies are going to risk that much investment with North Korea in the current climate?" Lankov asked.

"I'm sure North Korea will be keen, because once it got started, it would provide Pyongyang with a new project to manipulate and use to pressure others," he added.

Lankov said the same financial and political risks applied to plans to build a pipeline to supply both Koreas with Russian natural gas.

Observers highlight the precedent of the Kaesong industrial zone jointly run by North and South Korea, which Pyongyang unilaterally shut down in April as military tensions surged.

The zone reopened in September, but South Korean factory owners said they lost a small fortune during the five-month closure.

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As China prepares to launch its first probe to the moon next month, South Korea plans its own unmanned moon mission...

Huffington Post


Quote

South Korea Unveils Ambitious Moon-Lander Plans

South Korea has unveiled designs for its planned Moon lander, a key part of President Park Geun-hye’s pledge to revitalize the country’s aerospace industry and space program.

The uncrewed module — of which a scaled-down mock-up was unveiled to the press on 22 October — will travel on board a Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2 rocket and is designed to carry a lunar rover weighing 10–20 kilograms, which will look for signs of rare minerals on the Moon’s surface. A robotic orbiter will also circle above the lunar landscape for more than a year at an altitude of about 100 km.

Fifteen government-funded research institutions, led by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in Daejeon, have agreed to start collaborating in 2014 to develop foundation technologies for the mission next year, the country's Ministry of Science has said.

Since Park took office in February, the mission has been designated a central national objective, with the president bringing forward the launch date from 2025 to 2020 in a bid to accelerate the project. KARI has spent 10 billion Korean won (US$ 9.3 million) on lunar research since 2010, and an estimated 700 billion won is needed to complete the project by 2020, according to local reports.


NASA support


Challenges faced by the project so far have included the development of propulsion, guidance, navigation and control systems for the rocket. A KARI official told Nature that the organization hopes to make progress in part through cooperation with NASA

(...)- SNIPPED - more at link above

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Thats one way to get rid of the Moonies. ;D

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South Korea officially selects F-35 in fighter competition
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2014, 12:11:55 »

The F-35 is, certainly, a superior airplane. The question is: does SK need it? My guess is still No.


Seems Seoul disagrees with you since they are officially getting the JSF.

Quote

Defense News

South Korea Officially Selects F-35
Mar. 24, 2014 - 09:54AM   |   By AARON MEHTA 

WASHINGTON — The Republic of Korea has officially selected the F-35 as its next-generation fighter, the government announced this morning.

The country has agreed to purchase 40 of the F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing design, with first delivery planned for 2018. South Korea becomes the third foreign military sales customer for the F-35, joining Israel and Japan. There are eight other international partners on the program.

(...EDITED)

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Chinese president visiting S.Korea to send message to North
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2014, 15:30:37 »


     China cannot afford to lose South Korea as a friend.

   

This update below highlights just how much importance China places on its relationship with Seoul over its relationship with Pyongyang.

Quote
China's Xi heads to South Korea in 'message' to North

China's Xi Jinping will visit Seoul next week, both sides said Friday, going to the South for his first presidential journey to the Korean peninsula as Beijing's frustrations mount with the nuclear-armed North and its confrontational young leader Kim Jong-Un.

China is the North's key ally, energy provider and diplomatic protector, their ties sealed in the Korean War, and sees its neighbour as a buffer against finding US troops stationed on its own border.

Beijing and Seoul only established diplomatic ties in 1992 after decades of Cold War hostility and suspicion, but it will be the second summit between Xi and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, who visited China soon after she took office last year.

The July 3-4 visit will discuss "ways to cooperate on issues related to the situation on the Korean peninsula, including the North Korean nuclear issue", South Korea's presidential Blue House said in a statement.


(...SNIPPED)

Yahoo News

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