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Proactive Deterrence: The Challenge of Escalation Control on the Korean Peninsula
Region: Asia
Location: Korea, North
Published December 16, 2011
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Since the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty in 1953, the U.S.-ROK alliance has been tremendously successful in deterring a large-scale attack by the DPRK. Even during national famines and persistent mass poverty, North Korea has invested significant percentages of its national wealth into developing a large military force; in contrast, South Korea has emerged as a robust democracy with an advanced, capable military and one of the world’s leading economies. Indeed, South Korea’s success and security today is a testament to the ability of the ROK military, with the support of America’s nuclear and conventional extended deterrent commitment, to prevent another invasion from the North.

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