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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tracking Number:  131617

Title:  "Greater US-Japan-ROK Cooperation Urged." Article on the National Defense University's 1990 Pacific Symposium. (900309)

Date:  19900309


03/09/90 *


(Article on NDU 1990 Pacific Symposium) (830)

By Jane A. Morse

USIA Staff Writer

Washington -- Greater three-way military cooperation is needed among the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea in order to meet security requirements in Northeast Asia, according to Dr. Hwang Dong-Joon, research director for the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA).

During a March 2 seminar at the National Defense University's Pacific Symposium held at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., Hwang noted that while there has been considerable technology transfer between Korea and Japan at the commercial level, none exists in the area of defense. He argued that Korea and Japan must forge closer ties with each other as well as with the United States to provide a credible defense of the region.

"Considering that both Korea and Japan signed the Mutual Defense Agreement with the United States and are under the U.S. security umbrella," Hwang said, "in case of an emergency in Northeast Asia, it would be a serious problem in security and logistical support if there were no cooperation in military technology and arms production between the two countries."

He maintained that Korea and Japan do not pursue regional cooperation with each other in military technology and armaments production mainly because of Japanese political and domestic problems. Japan, he pointed out, bans arms exports to all communist countries, countries involved in conflicts and countries blacklisted by the United Nations. (Korea remains a country involved in a conflict since no armistice was signed following the war between North and South.) Nonetheless, in 1986, according to statistics from the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Japan exported weapons valued at 210,800 million dollars.

Hwang reasoned that "even though Korea-Japan military technology cooperation violates Japan's three principles of arms export policy, Japan should first discuss the possibility of technology transfer with the United States as a mediator and then make a policy which requires exchange of military scientists and industry-to-industry cooperation at the components or parts levels among these three nations."

Success for such a plan would require delineation of common goals, an efficient decision-making process, and a satisfying combination of burden-sharing and benefit- sharing for all the countries involved, Hwang said.

Hwang pointed out that the dramatic reduction in superpower tensions in Europe has had no similar impact on

GE 2 epf506 the political and military situation in Northeast Asia. In Northeast Asia, Soviet military capabilities remain as threatening as ever. China, North Korea and Vietnam "remain recalcitrant in adhering to monopolistic communist dictatorships," he said.

Complicating prospects for greater military cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region is the fact that "Pacific Rim countries have varied interpretations of the threat to each of their national security situations. This creates difficulties in generating common requirements for weapons systems."

Yet greater security cooperation among the nations of the region must be attempted, he said, because of "the relative decline of U.S. economic competitiveness and the resultant change in U.S. global strategy.

"As the size and amounts of U.S. security assistance programs change and the defense budget is cut, international armaments production cooperation (defense industrial cooperation) becomes the more broad concept of security cooperation between the United States and its allies. Since each country's security needs cannot readily be met with its own resources alone, it needs to cooperate with its allies in acquiring military equipment and logistical supports," Hwang said.

"It is important to avoid duplicate investments and to find an economical way for arms production cooperation between allied nations. However, the long-run objective for cooperation among allied nations should be determined by the need to increase collective security capability, by narrowing the gap of conventional arms production ability between East and West, and by strengthening the allies' function as international logistics and maintenance support bases in case of an emergency," he explained.

While Hwang placed first priority on completing the military cooperation triangle for Japan, Korea and the United States, he also suggested armaments production cooperation include Singapore, Thailand, Australia and Indonesia.

He noted the United States itself is placing more emphasis on defense cooperation. In the annual report to Congress for 1990, former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci estimated that the U.S. Department of Defense would spend 25 percent of its defense research and development budget for cooperation with other nations by the year 2000.

Hwang said the United States has sought to increase the efficiency of its limited defense budget by signing reciprocal defense procurement memorandums of understanding with 19 allied nations.

Another important American step toward greater defense cooperation is the Nunn-Quayle-Warner Amendment signed by Congress as part of the Arms Export Control Act. This legislation provides authority for jointly funded research and development ventures between the United States and Korea, Japan, Australia, Egypt and Israel, as well as the NATO nations.

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File Identification:  03/09/90, EP-506
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Thematic Codes:  1DE; 1EA
Target Areas:  EA
PDQ Text Link:  131617

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