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Security Conjuncture on the North-Korea-South Korea-Japan-USA Line

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South Korea and Japan are positioned as the strongest allies of the United States (USA) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the Asia-Pacific Region. It can be said that the common threat perception of these states is effective. Both actors are actually countries with serious historical problems. However, it can be said that security concerns bring these actors together.

It can be said that this situation also benefits the USA and NATO. Because this unity is important in terms of the influence these actors have in the region. In addition, the West’s allies and alliances in the region are of great importance in its policy of surrounding China.

In this context, it can be said that this unity offers a security guarantee for Tokyo and Seoul because the call for unity frequently expressed by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol can also be read in this context. For this reason, it can be argued that these relationships were built within the framework of a mutual win-win relationship. It can be said that the most harmful actors in this union are North Korea, which aims to compete with the rules-based international order. The mentioned union has negative consequences for China, in line with both its regional and global goals.

Tension and security concerns in the Asia-Pacific region are increasing due to North Korea and its growing nuclear power. As these concerns become more serious, tensions between states also escalate. As a matter of fact, countries are coming into conflict more and more each day, and the events taking place increase the possibility of hot conflict.

North Korea is a state that aims for political, economic and military independence through its “Juche” state policy. Because an important pillar of this policy and goals is nuclear power. For this reason, the Pyongyang administration is making significant nuclear breakthroughs. Because nuclear power constitutes a critical stage of military independence.

In addition, South Korea is one of the states that feels this danger most closely, due to its geopolitical position, geographical proximity, historical hostility and current struggles. At this point, it is known that Seoul sees US deterrence as the only hope.

For this reason, it is quite predictable that South Korea, which was also a US military operation area at the time, would cooperate and partner with Washington against North Korea. As a matter of fact, it is known that these moves have a provocative rather than a deterrent effect on Pyongyang. In short, if the current conjuncture continues like this, it can be predicted that the tension will increase further in the future.

On the other hand, the West continues its actions in the region and increases pressure on North Korea. This situation is pushing the Korean Peninsula towards the brink of a nuclear threat, especially with Japan increasingly adopting a more Western-oriented and proactive stance, which is also a significant pillar of the cooperation established with the United States, South Korea, and Japan in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan’s presence as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) [1] and its hosting of the G7 Summit in 2023[2] indicate that the West will intensify its pressure on Pyongyang through the United Nations

As a result, it can be predicted that the nuclear tension in the region will continue in such a conjuncture where the tension has escalated so much and the Western Bloc has accelerated its military exercises. Ultimately, it appears that North Korea has left calls for dialogue unanswered and has rapidly implemented the development and testing of nuclear weapons.


[1] “Japan Seeking 2032-33 Nonpermanent Membership of U.N. Security Council”, The Japan Times, https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/05/23/national/politics-diplomacy/security-council-membership/, (Erişim Tarihi: 06.09.2023).

[2] “The G7 Summit in Hiroshima Is a Test of Japan’s Peace-Brokering Power”, Time Magazine, https://time.com/6279372/g7-hiroshima-japan-summit-2023/, (Erişim Tarihi: 06.09.2023).

Zeki Talustan GÜLTEN
Zeki Talustan GÜLTEN
Zeki Talustan Gülten graduated from Yalova University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of International Relations in 2021 with his graduation thesis titled "American Foreign Policy" and from Anadolu University, Open Education Faculty, Department of Foreign Trade in 2023. Gülten, who is currently pursuing her Master's Degree with Thesis at Marmara University Institute of Social Sciences, Department of International Relations, was a student at the Faculty of International and Political Studies at Lodz University for a semester within the framework of the Erasmus+ program during her undergraduate education. Working as an Asia-Pacific Research Assistant at ANKASAM, Gülten's main areas of interest are American Foreign Policy, Asia-Pacific and International Law. Gülten is fluent in English.