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Military transformation on the Korean Peninsula : technology versus geography

Lee, Soon Ho


Soon Ho Lee


David J. Lonsdale


This thesis provides an explanation of one RMA issue: the effectiveness of contemporary military technology against tough geography, based upon case studies in the Korean peninsula. The originality of the thesis is that it will provide a sound insight for potential foes’ approach to the dominant US military power (superior technology and sustenance of war). The North Korean defence strategy – using their edge in geography and skill – tried to protect themselves from the dominant US power, but it may be impossible to deter or defeat them with technological superiority alone. This research also provides a valuable example, through Stephen Biddle’s technology and skill theory, which claims that, in the future of war, the skills of the unit (tactical readiness) are as important as the technology involved.

By examining three case studies, the thesis aims to reveal that technological superiority alone cannot guarantee military success against the foe that possesses the geographic advantage and the capability to use its benefits. The first case study of the Imjin Wars will examine the significance of geography and capability to using the geographic edge in the Korean peninsula. The second case study of the Korean War will examine how technology alone failed to overcome the skilled and geographically advantageous defenders in modern warfare. Finally, by examining possible conflict scenarios of US-ROK alliance and North Korea, this research will seek to prove that contemporary military technology alone would not guarantee military success and deterrence against North Korea, which is both geographically advantaged and highly skilled.

Publication date not given on thesis


Lee, S. H. (2011). Military transformation on the Korean Peninsula : technology versus geography. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Mar 13, 2012
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Politics
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Politics and International Studies, The University of Hull
Award Date Jan 1, 2011


Thesis (5 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2011 Lee, Soon Ho. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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