September 03, 2011

RoK’s Jeju Island Naval Base

September 1, 2011
SOURCE: IDSA

The Republic of Korea’s (RoK) plan to develop a naval base in the Jeju Island has led to controversy both within the country as well as in the region. The plan is intended to serve two objectives: to protect the country from possible missile attacks from North Korea and to allow the United States to station Aegis class destroyers outfitted with missile defence systems. Suspicions about the base being intended as part of a military containment strategy against China are unwarranted given that the US ballistic missile defence architecture in Asia is not designed to shield Japan, Taiwan, or any other country in the region from China’s vast missile ballistic arsenal. Besides, it is within RoK’s sovereign right to secure its territory from possible external attack, especially from its hostile northern neighbour. Moreover, the new naval base appears to be part of a broader strategy to enhance the RoK’s maritime presence.

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