The following remarks are from a lecture given by Dr. Kongdan Oh at the 1st RINSA-Konrad Adenauer Foundation Internatio-nal Conference “European and Asian Perspectives on International Security Policies”, organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in cooperation with the Research Institute for National Security Affairs (RINSA), Korea National Defense University (KNDU) , February 15, 2011 in Seoul, South Korea:
The two Koreas have suffered through a long history of military confrontation, and there is little reason to expect that relations will improve in the near future. Over the last few years both Koreas have strengthened their armed forces, and thanks to the 2010 North Korean attacks in the West Sea, this military buildup is likely to continue in the years ahead.
The motivation for North Korea to engage in active confrontation continues, and may even be increased, and the resources that could be employed in those confrontations are becoming more deadly.
The incompatibility of the political, economic, and social systems of the two Koreas is a continuing source of ill will. Military confrontation is an extension of political confrontation. Until the political system of North Korea changes, South Korea’s best hope for peace is to limit the North’s employment of its military forces in active engagements.