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Deterrence Under Nuclear Asymmetry: Thaad And The Prospects For Missile Defense On The Korean Peninsula, Inwook Kim, Soul Park Apr 2019

Deterrence Under Nuclear Asymmetry: Thaad And The Prospects For Missile Defense On The Korean Peninsula, Inwook Kim, Soul Park

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

The 2016 decision to deploy Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to South Korea has generated multitude of intensely politicized issues and has proved highly controversial. This has made it challenging to alleviate, let alone clarify, points of analytical and policy tensions. We instead disaggregate and revisit two fundamental questions. One is whether THAAD could really defend South Korea from North Korean missiles. We challenge the conventional “qualified optimism” by giving analytical primacy to three countermeasures available to defeat THAAD–use of decoys, tumbling and spiral motion, and outnumbering. These countermeasures are relatively inexpensive to create but exceedingly difficult to ...