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Ending Seoul’s missile cap has regional implications

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Significance

Seoul now has full ‘missile sovereignty’.

Impacts

  • North Korea is yet to react, but may do so with a missile launch.
  • Seoul already has all of North Korea within range and no limits on missile payload; longer-range missiles would be for targets elsewhere.
  • Seoul’s plans to build an aircraft carrier also indicate 'middle-power' ambitions to be able to project force well beyond the peninsula.
  • After the end of the US-Russian ban on intermediate-range missiles, Moscow will be unhappy if a near neighbour and US ally develops them.
  • Greater capabilities will make Seoul a more useful ally for Washington against Beijing, which may come to see Seoul as an increasing threat.
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