Effects of the subsurface domain on the security of the Korean Peninsula
Suh, Jimmy J.
Moltz, James Clay
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This thesis analyzes the effects of subsurface forces on security around the Korean Peninsula. It looks at the history, order of battle, and past provocations carried out by the Korean People's Navy (KPN) in the undersea environment and the threats posed to the South. Then, the thesis looks at the Republic of Korea Navy's undersea vulnerabilities, strategy, and recent responses to the North's provocations. Finally, the thesis explores various ways of integrating technology and possible allied cooperation to defend against the relentless provocations from the North. It concludes that integrating unmanned underwater vehicles, creating a wide-area surveillance system, and working with countries sharing common security interests (including the United States and Japan) could significantly improve South Korea's anti-submarine warfare capabilities by providing better indications and warnings of KPN submarine activity in its waters and doubling the number of submarines available to manage the North's large undersea fleet. Although many diplomatic and political hurdles need to be addressed before such strategic military cooperation could occur, the implications for better managing the subsurface domain, not just around the Korean Peninsula, but also in the rest of the region, would be significant.
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