Thursday, October 19, 2017

S. Korea set to bolster its Marine Corps and Navy with an eye toward China, Japan and N. Korea...

via The Korea Times
The Marine Corps plans to create a new command tasked to defend the country's islands near North Korean, Japanese and Chinese waters, next year.

This is to counter growing territorial claims of Japan and China as well as North Korea's possible provocations in the western sea border. 
In particular, the Marine Corps will set up a new unit dedicated to defending islands in the East Sea, including Dokdo, to which Japan has intensified its sovereignty claims. 

The Marine Corps unveiled these plans during a National Assembly audit.

"We've been seeking to take relevant measures preemptively as China, Japan and North Korea have been bolstering their amphibious capabilities," a Marine Corps officer said.
This illustrates the problem in Asia.

You want to know why I KNOW they will never replace the US (but will definitely fight us)?  It's because they have so many rivalries in that part of the world that they can never cooperate.

S. Korea is particularly interesting though.  I'm still not sure who they consider the bigger threat.  N. Korea or Japan.  I'm still not sure who they consider a better ally.  The US or China.

But back on task.  Check this part out...
 In a statement released later Thursday, the Marine Corps explained that the "Ulleung unit" is not exclusively tasked with protecting Dokdo, a move seen as to avoid a dispute with Japan amid its territorial dispute with South Korea over the islet.

The Marine Corps will separately form an aviation unit by 2021 and also plans to acquire amphibious assault helicopters, a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), wheeled armored vehicles, high-speed vessels and an air-defense radar between 2020 and 2023. 
Then this...
 The Navy said it plans to create an aviation command by 2020 and a maneuver fleet by 2030 in line with its push for "offensive warfare" against North Korea's evolving military threats.

The aviation command, if set up, is expected to be led by a rear admiral who will be in charge of more than 70 planes and helicopters, including additional maritime patrol aircraft and anti-surface surveillance and attack choppers.

The fleet will include 7,600-ton Aegis destroyers and KDDX destroyers.

The Navy said this will help execute the South Korean military's three-pronged defense system against North Korean attacks _ the Kill Chain, the Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR).

The system is to strike Pyongyang preemptively if Seoul is faced with an imminent threat while shooting down the enemy's incoming missiles and taking retaliatory measures if the country is under attack.

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Um Hyun-seong said he will "take a long-term perspective" regarding conservative lawmakers' demands to acquire a supercarrier. 
Um vowed to take stern measures against North Korea should it provoke South Korea near the five border islands in the West Sea, saying "it will be considered as a full-scale war." 
Story here. 

S. Korea bears watching.  They're even looking at the possibility of building a super carrier?

We're looking at a strange future.

S. Korea and Japan could well end up shooting at each other with our forces in the middle of that fight, while at the same time trying to repel a sudden strike by Chinese forces against either or both of our supposed allies.

Even worse?  Australia is just too small to be a multiplier in any scenario in the region.  At best they can provide logistics support but as far as combat power we will be alone.

Wild cards?  The Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and India.  Oh and that's all assuming Russia stays on the sidelines.

Everyone is arming up and we're facing a terrible future in that region.  Europe is easy.  The Middle East is frustrating but if we got serious, easy too.  The headache will be Asia.  Asia is and always will be hard.

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