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PacNet #91 – Importance of Jeju Civilian-Military Port

Seoul’s announcement, 15 days after Beijing declared its own Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), that it will expand Korea’s ADIZ suggests that the Republic of Korea (ROK), the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Japan have reached an end to overt diplomatic maneuvers without a clear understanding of how the overlapping zones would be enforced. As the ADIZs do not translate into territorial or maritime claims, a reasonable agreement could be arranged among the countries to ease heightened tensions. Unfortunately, when it comes to territorial or maritime disputes, agreeing to disagree or ignoring encroachments to one’s claims is not a realistic option and tensions could persist. Under the circumstances, ROK’s southernmost naval port under construction on Jeju Island gains significant strategic importance, not only for Seoul, but also for maintaining regional peace and security.