Cover: The Changing Balance

The Changing Balance

South and North Korean Capabilities for Long-Term Military Competition

Published 1985

by Charles Wolf, Jr., Don Henry, K. C. Yeh, James H. Hayes, John F. Schank, Richard L. Sneider


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This report has two principal purposes: to analyze South Korea's economic, technological, and political-social capabilities for long-term competition with North Korea, and to evaluate the relative capabilities of the two sides. Using a variety of methods and approaches, including formal quantitative models and qualitative essays, the authors reach the following primary conclusions: (1) South Korea has substantial economic and technological advantages over North Korea; (2) the South's economic preponderance over the North is growing rapidly; (3) South Korea's economic and technological development gives it advantages in its long-term military competition with the North; (4) South Korea can increase its military self-reliance; (5) South Korea's advantages over North Korea should increase substantially in the next decade; and (6) South Korea apparently provides a larger volume of resources for defense purposes, yet has a smaller military capability than does the North.

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