S. Korea’s new naval base
Country needs to broaden its strategic horizons.
A Glimpse into South Korea’s New Naval Base on Jeju Island
Four years ago I wrote about South Korea’s strategically far-sighted but locally controversial plans to construct a new naval base on Jeju island. After speaking at last week’s Jeju Forum I couldn’t resist an invitation from the Korean Institute for Maritime Strategy to slip away between panel discussions to attend a briefing at the newly opened facility.
The major locational advantage of the base for South Korea, given its hemmed-in geography, is that it faces onto the relatively open waters of the East China Sea. The ROK Navy (ROKN) has existing facilities at Busan and Jinhae, and previously operated a small facility on Jeju’s northern coast. But the much larger, south-facing base offers unobstructed access to South Korea’s major sea lines of communication passing through the western Pacific.
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