chapter  7
5 Pages


There exists a growing body of literature on the disarmament and arms control of the Korean Peninsula. For propaganda and presumably economic purposes, North Korea has proposed on numerous occasions since the 1950s mutual force reductions to 100,000 men for each. With the demise of the Cold War, discussions on the inter-Korean arms control emerged in South Korea in the second half of the 1980s. Yet the deep-rooted hostility and suspicion between the two divided states, i.e. governments and citizens, and their differing approaches to national reunification have impeded progress in disarmament and arms control in theory and practice. Actually, the ROK government has paid only lip service. It has justified its arms buildups in the name of arms control, since only the inter-Korean military parity, coupled with confidence-building measures, is believed to bring about any genuine mutual arms reduction. Nor has the North shown any sincere arms reduction. Leaders in Pyongyang may have feared that a Gorbachev-style unilateral disarmament would have led to ‘self-abnegation’, and they may have been probably correct. Faced with an unprecedented political, diplomatic, economic, and military crisis, Pyongyang has reinforced its garrison state by expanding military manpower and playing the nuclear card.