Cooperative Maritime Security in Northeast Asia

By Kim, Duk-Ki | Naval War College Review, Winter 1999 | Go to article overview

Cooperative Maritime Security in Northeast Asia

Kim, Duk-Ki, Naval War College Review

THE GEOSTRATEGIC maritime environment in Northeast Asia is changing. The Cold War order-marked by the possession of nuclear weapons, aggressive warfighting strategies, and the naval confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States-has been replaced by an indistinct arrangement reflecting the fluid state of international relations. As the two military superpowers have reduced their military presence in response to changes in international politics and growing economic constraints, so their political leverage over the region has diminished.

Step by step with the reduction in the American and Russian naval presence in Northeast Asia since the end of the Cold War has come an effort by regional navies to enhance their forces' capabilities. China and Japan continue to expand their already significant naval power, while South Korea and Taiwan are starting to acquire more powerful forces. Maritime security issues are becoming a particular concern of Northeast Asian countries. They tend now to be more preoccupied with their maritime security than with internal security and landbased threats. At a strategic level, some East Asian states are concerned about a possible power vacuum in the region absent a Russian naval presence, and, with declining U.S. force levels, the development of naval power-projection capabilities by China and Japan.

The naval arms buildup in Northeast Asia is not as intense as that in Europe during the Cold War, and no state has yet acquired the capability to impose its military hegemony over the region. Nevertheless, interstate rivalries just short of conflict are emerging, and most regional states are increasing their power-- projection capabilities in ways that could be dangerous if political relationships deteriorate in the future. Claims that the naval expansion in Northeast Asia threatens maritime security can be exaggerated, and they often are. However, the rapid buildup of Chinese and Japanese naval forces has heightened the perception of threat to the security of the region; except for the Korean Peninsula, current security concerns in Northeast Asia are focused on China's developing power-projection potential. Most countries in and around the region are heavily dependent on the sea lanes over which they trade, and in the event of crisis or war most combat logistic support would have to use the major sea lanes that traverse the region.

Recently, regional naval forces have displayed interest in the application of cooperative maritime security models to Northeast Asia. There is no Pacific-- area equivalent of the Dangerous Military Activities Agreement or of the confidence-building measures that are embodied in the Stockholm and Helsinki accords. Aside from some agreements still in force between Russia and the United States, only informal procedures in a few bilateral and subregional treaties provide guidelines for the conduct of naval operations within the region. The formal and bilateral naval arms control approaches negotiated between the United States and the Soviet Union are gone. Furthermore, the significance of rules for preventing or restraining maritime conflicts is increasing in the post-Cold War era, and cooperative maritime security in the broad sense could play a key part in the effort.

The objective of this paper is to consider cooperative maritime security in Northeast Asia in the field of maritime confidence-building measures and maritime cooperation measures. First, however, the theoretical background will be set forth.

What Is Cooperative Maritime Security?

Since the Second World War, international politics and relations have focused on security in terms of the ability of states to defend against external military threats. Throughout history states have tried to find security in conquest, buffer-zones, or spheres of influence. Security studies were accordingly defined as "the study of the threat, use and control of military force. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Cooperative Maritime Security in Northeast Asia


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.