Thesis Title

The Sword and the Shield: Active and Passive Defense Against North Korean Nbc and Ballistic Missile Weapons


Stephen Smith

Date of Graduation

Spring 2000


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


The Cold War continues on the Korean Peninsula, as North Korea prepares for a reunification war against South Korea and the United States. The highly militaries and ideological culture based on Juche philosophy has allowed Kim Jong Il to entrench himself firmly in the preeminent position of power in North Korea. To achieve the DPRK’s goals of reunification and maintenance of the regime, North Korea fields a million man army, and has several million soldiers in reserve. Pyongyang produces arguably the most formidable nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons arsenal in the Third World. The regime also maintains a ballistic missile infrastructure that supports both national security and exports for needed revenue. North Korean ballistic missiles can strike target on the Korean peninsula and Japan, and North Korea is achieving the capability to strike targets inside the United States with NBC warheads. Challenging this ware machine is the ROK and U.S. Eight Armies. This thesis describes the North Korean strategic culture, and examines the North Korean NBC and ballistic missile threat. It also analyzes the active and passive defense responses required by the threat. It concludes with policy recommendations for the United States to deter and defend against North Korea’s NBC and ballistic missile arsenal.


© Stephen Stephen Smith