How can a military conflict in the Korean Peninsula be avoided?

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Series Details No.52/2017 (20.06.17)
Publication Date 20/06/2017
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The Elcano Royal Institute is a think-tank for international and strategic studies that analyses world events and trends from a Spanish, European and global perspective.

The Analyses of the Elcano Royal Institute (ARI)are short pieces - of around 3,000 words - on aspects of current international affairs considered to be of relevance to Spain, its foreign policy or its security. In broad terms ARIs are intended to have a predictive bearing on events.Military tension is nothing new in the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has been responsible for numerous armed incidents in recent decades; that these did not escalate is due to the fact that the conventional military superiority of South Korea and its US ally contained North Korean bellicosity. The containment scenario is no longer valid as North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes have steadily progressed and now the Korean Peninsula finds itself in an unstable situation where any error of judgement or impulsive move could provoke not only armed conflict but also nuclear escalation. In a context marked by the problems faced by the international community to contain North Korean proliferation and by an increase in hostile declarations and the deployment of forces, this analysis sets out the need to adopt dissuasive and tension-reducing measures that could, first, avoid aggravating the current situation and, secondly, make progress towards freezing proliferation at its current levels and constructing a negotiating framework that would make it sustainable.

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Related Link(s)
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 05.07.17: North Korea Missile Test Exposes How Trump Has Overplayed His Hand
Blog: The Brookings Institution, 06.07.17: North Korea has tested an ICBM. Now what?

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