Argument: Defending against North Korean blitzkrieg requires landmines

Issue Report: Mine Ban Treaty (Ottawa Treaty)


“South Korea Extols Some of the Benefits of Land Mines”. New York Times. 3 Sept 1997 – One of the fundamentals of North Korean military doctrine is said to be surprise and speed in any attack, so that the North could seize the entire peninsula before United States reinforcements arrived. So the essence of South Korean planning is to frustrate any North Korean blitzkrieg with mines and tank traps and to bog it down until reinforcements arrived.

South Korean planners say that another reason why they need to slow any invaders is that their capital, Seoul, which has 11 million inhabitants, is less than 40 miles from the North Korean border.

Our defense depth is very shallow, and so we have to take defense measures very quickly, said Col. Park Tong Hyong, chief of arms control verification in the South Korean Defense Ministry.

[…]Land mines are an integral part of our policy against the North Korean military threat, said General Park, the Deputy Defense Minister. North Korea possesses a large number of tanks and military artillery, and it’s imperative to delay North Korean mechanized troops north of Seoul.