Expanding the ROK Navy : implications for the U.S.-ROK alliance
Pethel, John M.
Olsen, Edward A.
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Stability on the Korean peninsula is a goal for several countries. The Republic of Korea (ROK) has depended on the United States to maintain stability on the Korean peninsula, but realizes its greater independence from a long time ally may be inevitable, especially after reunification. Measures now required afford the ROK every opportunity to provide for its own security and stability, including the need for modernizing the ROK Navy (ROKN). Present and future South Korean naval commitments to regional and international maritime environments support the transition from a brown water navy to a blue water navy capable of meeting future challenges. The ROK intends to achieve a naval force capable of projecting power, carrying out its strategic objectives, and ultimately guaranteeing vital defense for ROK sea lanes of communications. South Korea borders on the East Sea and the West Sea, dictating the need for a maritime force, to protect the lifeblood of the South Korean economy. Currently, the ROKN cannot compete against large modern navies, capable of conducting sustained naval operations while concurrently maintaining various platforms assigned numerous tasks. The ROKN's opportunity is ripe to expand its existing force into a modern blue water navy.
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