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Addressing the Evolving Security Challenges in Korea

Mon, Mar 4, 2024, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Featuring: Dr. Bruce Bennett, Senior International Defense Researcher at RAND Corporation
Location: IWP Main Campus

You are cordially invited to attend a VIRTUAL event:

Addressing the Evolving Security Challenges in Korea


Dr. Bruce Bennett
Senior International Defense Researcher at RAND Corporation


Monday, March 4, 2024
3:00 – 4:00 PM EST


Microsoft Teams Virtual Event

Hosted by The Institute of World Politics



North Korea and South Korea on map

About the Lecture

**This lecture is part of the Asia Initiative Lecture Series**

**This is a virtual lecture, hosted by IWP via Microsoft Teams**

For 25 years after the end of the Cold War, most of the national security community assumed that nuclear weapon use was unlikely to be part of any future war. But over the last few years, North Korea has made regular threats of nuclear weapon use and Russia also threatened nuclear weapon use associated with its invasion of Ukraine. Moreover, the Chinese nuclear weapon force is rapidly expanding. These developments appear to make future nuclear weapon use more possible, especially limited nuclear weapon use. The escalatory implications of limited nuclear weapon use have not been well researched. This situation forces us to reevaluate more broadly the national security risks in many regions, and especially in Korea.

This briefing addresses four major security developments on the Korean peninsula that contribute jeopardy to the national security of South Korea, the United States, and other U.S. allies. Nuclear weapon use is of course a major issue, but so is North Korean instability. Another issue is the dramatic decline in the size of the ROK Army, the result of demographic challenges and political choices, especially when coupled with the ROK decision to only partially fund its plan to offset its manpower reductions with technology versus manpower tradeoffs. And the potential for third party intervention, and especially Chinese intervention, further complicates Korean security. These four issues are developed, and suggestions made for how South Korea and the United States can at least partially mitigate these challenges.”

About the Speaker

Bruce W. Bennett is a Senior International/Defense Researcher at The RAND Corporation. He is an expert in Northeast Asian security issues, having visited the region over 125 times and written much about Korean security. His research addresses issues such as the North Korean military threats, countering the North Korean nuclear threat and provocations, future ROK military force requirements, Korean unification, the Korean military balance, and potential Chinese military intervention in North Korea. Dr. Bennett specializes in “asymmetric threats” such as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and how to counter those threats with new strategies, operational concepts, and technologies. He has recently completed reports on the current North Korean nuclear, chemical, biological, and cyber threats, and teaches a class at the Pardee RAND Graduate School on “Understanding Nuclear Forces.” He has worked with the Pentagon and with US commanders in Northeast Asia and the Persian Gulf on these subjects. He has facilitated a large number of seminar/war games to address these issues. Dr. Bennett received a Ph.D. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School (1979 dissertation on “Uncertainty in ICBM survivability”) and a B.S. in economics from the California Institute of Technology.

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