chapter  4
28 Pages

Conflict and militarisation on the Korean Peninsula

In this chapter, we will describe the history of arms buildups of the two sides in terms of major shifts in policies and strategies as well as the trends in manpower and equipment. In addition, we will try to find out whether the arms buildups on both sides of the DMZ have been conducted on a competitive or mutually responding fashion – in other words, an ‘arms race’. Surely, the arms race is the official explanation given by both parties of the inter-Korean conflict. We will discuss the two issues in a series of distinct periods. Since a good explanation is first of all a good description, we will let the facts speak for themselves first; more rigorous quantitative analyses will be carried out in the next chapters. Although arms buildups during war are not usually classified as an ‘arms race,’ military buildups in the Korean War are to be carefully examined since they constituted the basis of the postwar buildups.