South Korea relaunches aircraft carrier plan

SEOUL – South Korea’s navy looks set to get the kind of big, shiny toy that admirals lust for after the National Assembly made a big splash Friday by reversing an earlier decision and budgeting for an aircraft carrier.

The development plunges Asia’s fourth-largest economy into a regional carrier race that already boasts strong entrants from China, India and Japan. However, there are questions over whether the Republic of Korea Navy, or ROKN, needs such a vessel to project hard power – or simply wants one to project soft power.

“I think you will struggle to find two Koreans who can agree on the aircraft carrier,” a source familiar with naval affairs told Asia Times.

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