Argument: Deterrence prevents North Korea from invading South Korea (not mines)

Issue Report: Mine Ban Treaty (Ottawa Treaty)


Caleb Rossiter, Director, Demilitarization for Democracy. “Debunking Korea Landmine Exemption”. February 12, 1997 – SOUTH KOREA HAS STRONG DEFENSE CAPABILITIES: A North Korean attack on the South would be suicidal not just because the 37,000-soldier U.S. tripwire would bring another Desert Storm down on impoverished North Korea. In all likelihood, U.S. ground reinforcements wouldnt even be needed. The vast majority of forces that would destroy an invasion in short order are South Korean. There are 548,000 South Korean Army regulars, far in excess of the one-third of North Koreas 923,000 that is typically need ed to defend a fixed position. The wealthy Souths equipment and tactics are as modern as the impoverished Norths are antiquated, and the mountainous border favors the defenders, since the Norths tanks would come in file and suffer high kill ratios from pr otected firepower that is pre-targeted on literally every inch of the possible invasion routes where Chinese and U.S. forces fought to a bloody standstill in 1953. Finally, South Korea deploys millions of anti-personnel landmines that would not be affecte d by U.S. participation in a ban.

NORTH KOREA CAN NO LONGER HOPE TO SEIZE AND NEGOTIATE: For years U.S. analysts have said that North Korea has only one hope in a war: to seize Seoul, the South Korean capital that lies within 25 miles of the Demilitarized Zone, in a mass surpris e attack, and then try to negotiate a cease-fire. However, surprise is unlikely because U.S. reconnaissance will observe North Korean units coming to full readiness, and Desert Storm showed the North what it can expect if it seizes Seoul: devastation and the defeat of its army, not negotiations that allow it to keep its gains.

Caleb Rossiter. “Fighting In Korea With Antiquated Weapons: South Korea and the U.S. Would Crush North Korea – Without Landmines” – The United States and South Korea deter a North Korean attack across the demilitarized zone by demonstrating their military dominance in oft-repeated full-scale exercises. The North is very aware of this dominance and probably views any invasion as an act of regime suicide. The North Koreans got a taste of what a future war against the U.S. and South Korea would be like in 1999, when their patrol boats attacked South Korean patrol boats in disputed territorial waters.