A power transition period in North Korea, following the hypothetical collapse of the regime of Kim Jong Il, is very likely to promote sudden insurgencies in a similar way as the Iraq and Afghanistan insurgencies. In such a scenario, how should the Republic of Korea's (ROK) counterinsurgency (COIN) forces deal with the inevitable mission ahead? Historically, the ROK's COIN forces achieved remarkable successes in Vietnam and Iraq, using “hard” and “soft” approaches. The interplay among four actors—the COIN forces, the domestic public in South Korea, the insurgents, and the local population of the insurgency‐affected country—explains how ROK's armed forces as a middle power military achieved tactical successes there. It offers an insight into planning for a strategic success in potential North Korean insurgencies. The findings show that an approach characterized by initial soft remedies, followed by hard remedies, will be effective under a flexible‐type military organization.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.