South Korean Navy

eckherl

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
What Bitter-z seems to be saying is not that SK is superior to Japan but rather that SK effort is not concerned with JMSDF. So whether ROKN can outgrow JMSDF is not relevant here.
As ROK has never provoked or shown hostile intent towards Japan and Japan vice versa during the last 50 years, whatever mutual dismay they may harbour against each other isn't likely to materialize.

Before I go further I will state clear my bias as a Korean national.

South Korean navy is focusing on 3 issues here.
-keeping SLOC open
-force projection
-protecting its interests overseas

If you view ROKN as a supporting element to USN in the Far East then its projects are indeed waste of resource. However ROK has been pursuing a defence capability not reliant of US help. In that sense its naval build up is far more understandable.
US cannot and would not protect all the interests ROK might have. For instance if a dispute were to develop regarding EEZ btwn ROK and PRC, US would not want to get involved. Without an adequate navy to patrol or enforce sovereignty in those waters by itself, ROK would have to give in to PRC pressure. With a strong naval presence that can be avoided.

As for dealing with DPRK, ROK wants a fully capable force projection power.
Ahphibious assets are mainly centered on this goal; regiment level landing capabilites and command of all 3 seas surrounding the Korean Peninsula. Currently ROK cannot launch a real landing operation without US help, meaning Korea cannot initiate any real offensive into the North without US approval in case of war. The "mobile fleets" will be specifically designed to respond to that demand.

S.Korea relies heavily on marine transportation for trade. Over 98% of all its commodity are traded thru shipping. Unstability in its SLOC is a serious threat. However I do agree here that this is not likely to require a massive naval force to deal with. In any case it will probably be a joint effort with other nations to keep the SLOC open , thus no need for ROK to deploy an armada.

There is officially no plan for a carrier. Although a navy without a carrier is bound to regional waters under aircover from land, ROK is not likely to need to operate beyond those waters in any immediate future. It would still be nice to have one as it will present ROK with much more military option if thing were to deteriorate. Doesn't seem to be worth the bother just now.

To conclude ROK is not overly enthusiastic in its naval plans. Submarines to provide asymetric force to counter overwhelming neighbours, amphibious capabilities to pressure the North, surface combatants capable of maintaning to some level a command of the seas. It is not looking forward to fighting and winning wars against the great powers. Just a sufficient force to protect itself and its interests.
Very informative and well written:)
 
In this sense South Korea really spends a lot on its defense compare to its neighbors (China and Japan).
In all fairness they have to worry about the North Koreans in a way that China and Japan don't have to - so a lot of the spending is understandable. But certainly, as I said, they have to think carefully before drawing their neighbours into a spending contest - they couldn't possibly compete.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
About $67 billion at the moment
But that isn't a particularly meaningful figure when compared to (e.g.) Japanese or US spending. It's actually quite hard to estimate what Chinese military expenditure is "worth" in the currencies of richer (per capita) countries, because the price structures are so different. If you convert it at official exchange rates, then you get an unrealistically low figure, nowhere near enough to cover the manpower costs at rich country prices. Convert it at the purchasing power parity of the whole economy, then you probably overstate it as much, since the high technology weapons which are needed to match other countries weapons are not as much cheaper in China as footsoldiers, i.e. the number of Chinese infantrymen you can train, feed, pay, clothe & house for the cost of A J-10 is a lot more than the number of US infantrymen you can get for the price of an F-15.
 

daewon

New Member
In all fairness they have to worry about the North Koreans in a way that China and Japan don't have to - so a lot of the spending is understandable. But certainly, as I said, they have to think carefully before drawing their neighbours into a spending contest - they couldn't possibly compete.
It troubles me that ROKN programs can be viewed in such a manner.
PLAN is rapidly building its force, in fact it is expecting carriers in a decade or two. Japan even on 1% GDP spending has far superior naval power. ROKN's naval plan is hardly enough to present a challenge to either nation.
Most of the sword rattling is coming from the Chinese direction and also Japan with its government leaning ever more to the right does worry me, but ROK is mostly out of the equation when it comes to balance of power in the Far East.
Besides China looks towards the US as its competitor not Korea, not Japan.
 
It troubles me that ROKN programs can be viewed in such a manner.
I never said there were provocative. I was saying that it would be a bad idea for South Korea to try to get into a spending competition, as it will never be able to keep up. So it will have to consider where it goes from spending 2.5% of GDP carefully.
 

Schumacher

New Member
It troubles me that ROKN programs can be viewed in such a manner.
PLAN is rapidly building its force, in fact it is expecting carriers in a decade or two. Japan even on 1% GDP spending has far superior naval power. ROKN's naval plan is hardly enough to present a challenge to either nation.
Most of the sword rattling is coming from the Chinese direction and also Japan with its government leaning ever more to the right does worry me, but ROK is mostly out of the equation when it comes to balance of power in the Far East.
Besides China looks towards the US as its competitor not Korea, not Japan.
Wouldn't say ROK is out of the equation in the balance of power in the Far East. Whichever way it decides to tilt, China or US, will have significant effect on the balance of power.
 

Bitterz

New Member
I never said there were provocative. I was saying that it would be a bad idea for South Korea to try to get into a spending competition, as it will never be able to keep up. So it will have to consider where it goes from spending 2.5% of GDP carefully.
ROKN's build up will be continued till we feel secure. That's all. I doubt any country including Japan and China feel uncomfortable about recent small spendings on ROKN...yeah except you.:cool: Korean defence budget is around 2.5~2.8% of GDP, and it's not that high on world standard.

Spending less is God-blessed, as they can use elsewhere. But just imagine UK has neighbours likes Japan, China and N. Korea next to your door, then you may know why Korea needs to build Navy. Korea is practically an island nation, cut off by N. Korea, depending on sea trade for most economy.
 

Bitterz

New Member
You can complain about China, but Japan's spending has been constant - 1% of GDP for a very long time. Also it's South Korea that is going to base cruise missiles on its new destroyers, not Japan.
The only reason Japan doesn't have cruise missle is because of US, who concerned about Japanese ex-"nationalistic" warfare/crimes. Why Korea should not have cruise missle just because Japan doesn't???

Remind me, who conquered who in the late 19th century? :rolleyes:Living in the past is dangerous.
I thought we were talking about Navy-related topic. Not overly-ambitious Japanese nationalism past.
 

Bitterz

New Member
That is such a stupid comment given I'm in the UK - why the hell would I feel threatened by any Asian navy?! :eek:nfloorl:
Well, I meant recent ROKN spending is not much threat to neighbours against your idea. If you want any meaningful discussion - which I doubt now, please read it right. ;)
 
The only reason Japan doesn't have cruise missle is because of US, who concerned about Japanese ex-"nationalistic" warfare/crimes. Why Korea should not have cruise missle just because Japan doesn't???
South Korea can have cruise missiles if it wants, but it can't claim Japan is being provocative by spending 1% of GDP on defence, especially when it is not basing offensive weapons on its ships. Given South Korea has already taken that step, if Japan follows South Korea will not be able to complain.

The US is not the reason why Japan doesn't use cruise missiles - it's down to Article 9 and public support for it. If Japan wants to ammend Article 9 to allow it to use such weapons, it will. The US wants Japan to become a normal military power, so it can focus its forces elsewhere.

I thought we were talking about Navy-related topic. Not overly-ambitious Japanese nationalism past.
Hey, someone else raised past events - not me. I was only saying it's silly to live in the past and in recent history the Korean navy had not come off well against Japan.
 

Schumacher

New Member
South Korea can have cruise missiles if it wants, but it can't claim Japan is being provocative by spending 1% of GDP on defence, especially when it is not basing offensive weapons on its ships. Given South Korea has already taken that step, if Japan follows South Korea will not be able to complain.

The US is not the reason why Japan doesn't use cruise missiles - it's down to Article 9 and public support for it. If Japan wants to ammend Article 9 to allow it to use such weapons, it will. The US wants Japan to become a normal military power, so it can focus its forces elsewhere.......
I think many Koreans see Japan's attitude with regards to WW2 along with its hostility to NK, even more so than SK, give them reasons to be suspicious of Japan & many see them as provocation.
It's too simplistic to say can drop article 9 if it wants to. The key is it can't for now because it's not prepared to deal with the diplomatic repercussions.
 
I think many Koreans see Japan's attitude with regards to WW2 along with its hostility to NK, even more so than SK, give them reasons to be suspicious of Japan & many see them as provocation.
Many Koreans see China's attitude towards Koguryo and related history as provocative as well. That doesn't mean anyone should take notice of them.

It's too simplistic to say can drop article 9 if it wants to. The key is it can't for now because it's not prepared to deal with the diplomatic repercussions.
Quite the reverse - a referendum bill is going to be introduced to allow Article 9 to be ammended. That would rather show Japan reserves the right to make the choice.
 

Schumacher

New Member
Many Koreans see China's attitude towards Koguryo and related history as provocative as well. That doesn't mean anyone should take notice of them.
Indeed they do. Was merely stating what I think many in SK feel. Just think others shouldn't so easily dismiss their concern.

Quite the reverse - a referendum bill is going to be introduced to allow Article 9 to be ammended. That would rather show Japan reserves the right to make the choice.
The point is they haven't. Don't u think they would've dropped it long ago if they could ? I mean which nation would willingly subject themselves to such restrictions.
It was something forced upon them.
 

Transient

New Member
The point is they haven't. Don't u think they would've dropped it long ago if they could ? I mean which nation would willingly subject themselves to such restrictions.
It was something forced upon them.
So who's forcing them to keep it now? America has been trying to get Japan to change it for some time. The reason why it hasn't changed is because the pacifist attitudes of the Japanese have led to internal opposition to its amendment, not because of opposition from other countries.
 
So who's forcing them to keep it now? America has been trying to get Japan to change it for some time. The reason why it hasn't changed is because the pacifist attitudes of the Japanese have led to internal opposition to its amendment, not because of opposition from other countries.
Absolutely.

Schumacher, you are wrong to assume Japan always wanted to lift it. Some people in government did, but the population were against it. Now there is a lot more support for revising the Constitution, so the government are bringing in legislation to allow that to happen. Then Japan as a whole will decide what it wants to do.

As to what Koreans think, if they have an unreasonable attitude you can't let yourself be restricted by that.
 

Schumacher

New Member
Absolutely.

Schumacher, you are wrong to assume Japan always wanted to lift it. Some people in government did, but the population were against it. Now there is a lot more support for revising the Constitution, so the government are bringing in legislation to allow that to happen. Then Japan as a whole will decide what it wants to do.

As to what Koreans think, if they have an unreasonable attitude you can't let yourself be restricted by that.
As I said, I assume few if any would willingly subject themselves to such restrictions. Was there a referendum on this before ? So how do u know one way or the other ?
Unreasonable attitude should not be tolerated, just don't be so quick to judge ur the reasonable one, especially as u mentioned earlier that ur not from SK.
 
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