– Defense News – The South Korean Navy launched its second 14,500-ton Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship on May 14 as the landing vessel’s mission shifts more toward blue-water operations than countering North Korea, whose relations with the South has been improving following the April 27 cross-border summit.
– War Zone – South Korea’s Navy is looking into the practical and political feasibility of domestic design and production of a nuclear-powered submarine. The study comes amid heightened tensions with North Korea and concerns about that country’s own submarine-launched ballistic missile developments, but could further strain relationships on the Peninsula and beyond and could prove to be technically complex and expensive without a clear imperative to develop such a boat in the first place.
– Yon Hap News – South Korea said Friday it has begun the construction of another large-scale amphibious landing ship to be used by the country’s Navy.
– US Naval War College Review – This article considers the options open to the Republic of Korea’s Navy, in the context of its maritime cooperation with the US Navy, to deal with the new intractable North Korean SLBM threat.
– Aviation Week – The North Korean submarine threat looked bad enough after the torpedoing of a South Korean corvette in 2010. It has looked a good deal more serious since, as North Korea has worked to deploy nuclear ballistic missiles in submarines. All of this is making a South Korean program to buy additional maritime patrollers a rising priority. The likely contenders are now the Boeing P-8 Poseiden and Saab’s proposed Swordfish, based on the Bombardier Global 6000. The navy has dropped a plan to buy and refurbish 16 Lockheed Martin S-3 Vikings, shifting its focus to the possible order for new aircraft.
– USNI News – A trio of planned South Korean guided missile destroyers will be built with the capability to intercept ballistic missile threats. The addition of the capability will give the Republic of Korea (RoK) Navy a powerful organic BMD capability in addition to U.S. Army ground-based interceptors peppered throughout South Korea.
– USNI News – Seoul is considering adding Raytheon SM-3 missiles to its fleet of Aegis guided missile destroyers to give the ships a ballistic missile defense capability.
– Janes – The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) and US Navy (USN) have completed a five-day bilateral anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise that included surface, subsurface, and airborne assets in the Philippine Sea close to Guam.
– AP – Warships from the rival Koreas exchanged warning shots Tuesday after a North Korean ship briefly violated the disputed western sea boundary, a South Korean defense official said.
– USNI News – The Korean War of 1950-1953 was concluded by a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, and the three powers—South Korea, North Korea and the United States—are still technically at war. A new conflict on the Korean peninsula would see the commitment of a new, reinvigorated Republic of Korea Navy, an aging, weakened North Korean Navy and an American fleet providing the only ballistic missile defense capability for the region.
– War is Boring – Seoul has bought itself a fancy new navy, but at the expense of troops guarding the peninsula.
– BBC – South Korea has deployed two warships with missile-defence systems, reports say, a day after the North apparently moved a missile to its east coast.
– BBC – South Korea and the US have begun three days of naval exercises in what is being seen as a show of force aimed at North Korea.
– US Naval War College Review – Since its provocations against Yeonpyeong Island on 23 November 2010, North Korea’s asymmetric threats have emerged as one of the most momentous security issues for the Republic of Korea (ROK). After bitter defeats in the First and Second Yeonpyeong Sea Battles, as well as in the Daechung Sea Battle of No- vember 2009, North Korea recognized its disadvantage in symmetric surface-ship provocations. It resorted instead to new and unexpected tactics, utilizing its latest small submarine to torpedo ROKS Cheonan on 26 March 2010.
– AFP – South Korea will build a naval base near an island claimed by both Seoul and Tokyo so that its warships can deploy faster than Japan’s in case of disputes.
– BBC – Demonstrators are gathering on the South Korean island of Jeju to protest at construction of a new naval base.
– BBC – South Korean navy commandos have stormed a cargo ship which had been seized by pirates in the Arabian Sea.
– The Diplomat – In the second article on Asia’s navies, a look at the South Korean Navy’s blue-water naval ambitions.
South Korea has launched its biggest-ever anti-submarine exercises, the military says, despite warnings of retaliation from the North.
Washington Post – U.S. debates joining S. Korean military exercises
The Obama administration is wrestling over whether to send an aircraft carrier to take part in military exercises with South Korea in what would amount to a significant show of force after the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship in March.
Defense Technology International – Team Spirit Revival
The U.S. and South Korea will undertake new joint exercises in the wake of the sinking of the South Korean Cheonan frigate.
Associated Press – Clues suggest North Korean sub behind warship attack
Experts say North Korea’s submarine fleet is technologically backward, prone to sinking or running aground and all but useless outside its own coastal waters. And yet many are asking: Could it have been responsible for the explosion that sank a South Korean warship in March? And if so, how could a sub have slipped through the defenses of South Korea, which, with significant American backing, maintains a fleet far more sophisticated than its northern neighbor’s?
South Korea’s defence minister has said those responsible for the deaths of 46 sailors on board a warship that sank after an explosion must “pay a price”.
Last month’s mysterious sinking of a South Korean warship was due to a “close-range” explosion under the ship, a preliminary inquiry has found.
Economist – Playing for time
If North Korea did deliberately destroy a South Korean warship, what next?