The Korean Peninsula and the Maritime Domain

Peace or Conflict Zone?

In Northeast Asia, maritime territorial and boundary disputes contribute to friction among South Korea, North Korea, Japan, and China. As inter-Korean diplomatic progress has stalled, border tensions between the North and South have increased, including along their disputed maritime boundary—the Northern Limit Line. The disputes over the Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo/Takeshima), which are administered by South Korea but also claimed by Japan, and demarcation of an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the surrounding seas contribute to strained relations between Seoul and Tokyo. Likewise, relations between China and South Korea are challenged by unresolved EEZ boundaries and widespread illicit fishing by Chinese vessels in South Korean waters.

On February 10, 2021, NBR’s Maritime Awareness Project held a virtual discussion with Darcie Draudt, Young Kil Park, and Terence Roehrig on maritime challenges in South Korea’s relations with its neighbors. The discussion considered the implications of these developments both for broader regional security and for the U.S.–South Korea alliance.



Alison Szalwinski, The National Bureau of Asian Research


Inter-Korean Relations and the Maritime Domain

Darcie Draudt, Johns Hopkins University

South Korea and Maritime Resource Competition

Young Kil Park, Korea Maritime Institute

The ROK Navy and Regional Maritime Security

Terence Roehrig, U.S. Naval War College


John Van Oudenaren, The National Bureau of Asian Research

About the Speakers

Darcie Draudt is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the Johns Hopkins University. She is also an advisor for public policy studies at StratWays Group, a geopolitical risk and security consultancy with a focus on Northeast Asia and the United States.

Young Kil Park is Director of the Law of the Sea Research Center at the Korea Maritime Institute in Busan, South Korea.

Terence Roehrig is a Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College.

Alison Szalwinski is Vice President of Research at the National Bureau of Asian Research.

John Van Oudenaren is Assistant Director with the Political and Security Affairs group at the National Bureau of Asian Research.