Policy Briefs Books Journals

Peace and Security in Northeast Asia Policy Brief  No.185 - February, 2024 • By Chung-in Moon

Policy Brief No.185: A New Korean War Is Not Imminent - Accidental Escalation Might Be

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This Policy Brief discusses the security situation in the Korean peninsula which is going from bad to worse. However, despite bellicose words, changes in military doctrine and posture, and harsh verbal exchanges, “war by a premeditated plan” is not imminent. What is troubling is the potential for accidental military clashes between the two Koreas and the escalation into a limited or full-blown conflict involving nuclear weapons. A sequence of accidental clashes, crisis escalation, and war might appear rational at each incremental step until the conflict spirals entirely out of control. Such a sequence must be avoided at any cost. What measures are needed?

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