Promoting Dialogue and Understanding Between Korea and the United States
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February 18th 12:00pm - 12:00am EST
South Korea is currently engaged, once again, in a large-scale, expensive modernization of its military that aims to provide the country with a more robust and self-sufficient defense. Although the North Korean threat still serves to justify military spending in the South, other rationales in the movement have gained prominence, such as perceptions of a weakening U.S. security commitment, “unspecified” threats from around the region, and the technological requirements of the “revolution in military affairs.” But another rationale has shaped South Korean military spending, and this rationale may become even more salient during this period of global economic crisis—that growing the military is good for the economy. Is that true, or does the global recession necessitate a less ambitious military modernization in South Korea?
John Feffer explores these various controversies in his examination of the nature of South Korean military spending, the domestic economic (and inevitably political) impact of more won going into the defense sector, and whether South Korea’s military transformation reflects and contributes to a regional arms race. Please join KEI for this lunchtime program as Mr. Feffer kicks off a round table discussion on this topic of great importance to the U.S.-ROK alliance.