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Arms talk vs. balanced security

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16.09.2020

By Shen Dingli
With the demise of the INF Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty) in 2019, the world seems to have entered a rather destabilizing stage. On the one hand, as the U.S. and Russia, the only two former INF members, have been free of the binding of the INF Treaty, they could technically quickly rearm themselves with land-based short-range and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, as the U.S. already has its sea-based Tomahawk and it could convert it to a land-based version pretty easily.

For Russia, the U.S. had long accused it, before Washington quit the treaty, of testing land-based missiles violating the INF. Even if the U.S. charge was untrue, Russia could still be quite close to acquiring a ground-launched ballistic missile capability, with a range close to 500 km and beyond.

On the other hand, as China was not a party to the INF, it had not been legally bound by the treaty. Therefore, Beijing has possibly taken such an advantage to build up its sizable inventory of intermediate-range ballistic missiles. On Aug. 26, the Chinese military announced that it tested its DF-26B, believed to have a range of 4,000 km, and DF-21D, believed to have a range of 1,800 km, to hit an area in the South China Sea.

American sources indicated that China's Strategic Rocket Force had actually shot four such missiles, with two missing the target. The Pentagon has, for the........

© The Korea Times


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