1. Present and Future of the Security Environment in Northeast Asia
A. Security Situation in the Region
Northeast Asia has a quarter of the world’s population, and is a region where the interests of powerful nations such as the United States, Japan, China and Russia collide with one another. In addition, the strategic importance of this region grows further with China’s continued economic growth, Korea and Japan’s economic development, and the economic recovery and political stabilization of Russia. If current trends persist, Northeast Asia will, by the year 2020, produce one-third of the world GDP, and become one of the three centers of politics, economic activity, and military powers along with America and Europe.
On the other hand, amidst the concentration of the world’s strongest military powers, the military conflict between North and South Korea continues to exist. Also, as each country in Northeast Asia pursues its national interests and strives to increase its influence in the region, mutual restraining and conflicts are increasing. By strengthening their security alliance, the United States and Japan have declared that they will confront any potential security threat together. In response, China and Russia have developed their relationship to the strategic status of a quasi-alliance. Given these circumstances, the order in Northeast Asia is evidently strongly influenced by geo-political and military factors rather than geo-economic factors.
[Kim Jong Un's succession and establishing Ri Sol Ju as the mother of the next North Korean leader] In the past his father and grandfather had multiple wives and there was intense jockeying about who was the heir. He knows the regime focuses on bloodlines, and he has Kim Il Sung’s blood in his veins...[Kim Jong Un] is the third Kim. Is he going to be the one that gives up nuclear weapons and makes North Korea beholden to outside powers? I doubt it.