Korea-U.S. Missile Guideline Negotations4
Then what do the experts in Korea think about this issue[Interview : ] As one expert put it, you can't swat a fly that's far away if you're going to use a short fly swatter. So many believe it's just a matter of time before the missile range will be extended. Technically, Seoul and Washington only agreed on a guideline, not a legally binding treaty or a military pact, so South Korea can technically call it off and develop missiles with an extended range as it wants. But because the bilateral alliance is at stake, Seoul has decided not to take that route. Some experts believe the negotiations won't ultimately have an effect on the alliance, and by principal, this guideline can be scrapped. [Interview : Song Dae-sung, President Sejong Institute] "It can be adjusted. For instance, if Korea demands to scrap the guideline, the U.S. knows very well why Korea's behaving that way. In the long-run, I don't think it will have any effect on the Korea-U.S. alliance." However, some are more on the cautious side. They believe there are more layers than that, and the negotiations should be carefully maneuvered to protect the Korea-U.S. alliance. [Interview : Bong Young-shik, Senior Research Fellow Asan Institute for Policy Studies] "You cannot really try to understand the implications of missile guidelines negotiations in isolation of other issues that are critically important to the overall functioning of the U.S.-Korea security alliance." With the Yeonpyeong Island shellings and the sinking of the warship Cheonan in 2010, the effectiveness of the U.S. deterrance was put under question. [Interview : Bong Young-shik, Senior Research Fellow Asan Institute for Policy Studies] "The South Korean public harbor somehow undercurrent of suspicion whether the United States would be a fair player dealing with South Korea's demand." [Reporter : ] Which explains why there has been growing support from Seoul to renegotiate the missile guidelines so that South Korea will have the capabilities to defend itself from North Korea. A contentious issue, indeed. I suppose we'll have to wait and see how the two allies work things out for the better. That was Arirang News' Defense Ministry correspondent, Kim Han-ul. Thanks, Han-ul for that report. [Reporter : ] My pleasure.