The Benefits of the US–South Korea Alliance Beyond Deterring North Korea


By Tongfi Kim

The politically convenient narrative that exclusively focuses on the US–South Korea alliance’s deterrence and defence against North Korea fails to capture some important functions the alliance has fulfilled historically. The alliance has restrained both Seoul and Washington from taking risky actions against North Korea, it has generally contributed to a better relationship between South Korea and Japan, and the alliance and the US military bases in South Korea raise the strategic value of South Korea to China.


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