International security in north east Asia : an analysis with a focus on the maritime dimension and the geo-strategic importance of the Korean peninsula
The purpose of this thesis is to examine the geo-strategic and political factors which constitute the prevailing security environment in North East Asia, with particular emphases on the pivotal position of Korean peninsula and the crucial influence of superpower naval balances and strategic developments. A major element of this examination is the assessment of the health of the contemporary security arrangement in North East Asia, within and between the various 'camp'', and how best to remedy any shortcoming.This thesis suggests that the balance of power between the US and the Soviet Union is changing in favour of the latter and that military stability between East and West is being undermined. If not arrested, these trends will increase and exacerbate political-military divisions in the Far East. This situation could well result in any one of the states which have an interest in the region enhancing its arsenal to use such military hardware for the protection of its vulnerable interests.The thesis puts forward a number of propositions concerning the likely future evolution of the strategic environment and military situation, especially the political and naval dimensions, in the Far East. In its analysis the thesis considers a wide range of trends and developments, but does not lose sight of the central military-security issues, especially - in a region where the sea is such a vital strategic and economic issue - naval matters. It is the intention of the thesis to provide a unique examination of international security in North East Asia - unique in its contemporary nature, unique in its regional scope, and unique in relating internal and external political and economic issues of the interested regional states to central strategic issues, in particular superpower maritime strength. This thesis assesses the implications of these developments for South Korean security relations in particular, and suggests several issues for future consideration.