Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in ought to respond to the regime of Kim Jong Un jointly and without any ambiguity.
North Korea’s acquisition of ICBM capabilities is a game-changer—and not only for the inter-Korean balance of power and Northeast Asia’s strategic stability.
South Korea’s core challenges are so deeply structural that even with strong presidential leadership, supported by a bureaucracy that’s willing to follow through, progress is going to be extremely incremental.
South Korea, arguably one of the world’s 10 most strategically consequential countries, faces four major challenges.
Given that South Korea is the only country on the entire Asian continent where the United States continues to deploy ground forces and air assets, the U.S. alliance with the Republic of Korea plays a critical role in supporting U.S. power projection in Northeast Asia and by extension, in East Asia.
Unless Asia’s strategically consequential states can significantly mitigate, if not resolve, the region’s political and military deficits, Asia’s rise will never be completed.