Should North Korea Be Deterred From Any Form Of Attack On South Korea?

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Can North Korea be deterred from any form of attack on South Korea?

Thesis: It is possible to deter North Korea from executing an attack on South Korea if deterrence methods are thoroughly planned and implemented. This is essential due to the uncertain nature of North Korea as a rogue state.

Korea was broken into two - the North and the South in 1945 as a result of the Allied Victory in World War I. This resulted in a communist state being established in the North (DPRK) and a pro-Western one set up in the South (ROK). The mid 20th century saw a series of bloody conflicts from which the Korean Armistice Agreement ensued which created the buffer now known as the Demilitarized zone. This agreement however, is regarded mainly as a truce in name only as tensions have since escalated due to events such as the 1999 naval conflict, 2010 ROKS Cheonan sinking, and the firing of multiple missiles. To this day, South Korea is still threatened by the North as they attempt to reunify Korea and in response, they have allied with Western forces, and are attempting to deter any form of attack.

This essay aims to uncover whether an attack by North Korea on South Korea is firstly plausible and secondly whether any form of deterrence will be effective in preventing such an attack. It will first explore the perception of North Korea as an irrational or rogue state and the state’s motivations to attack the South. It will then study the current avenues of deterrence in place and previous
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