The escalating threat arising from nuclear-armed North Korea’s recent series of missile tests is prompting South Korea to beef up its military muscle and experts warn it could spur an arms buildup elsewhere in Northeast Asia. South Korea and Japan are accustomed to the North’s frequent threats to attack. But the war of words between Washington and Pyongyang

has raised fears of a sudden clash along the world’s most militarized border dividing the two Koreas, which might quickly escalate to all-out war. After North Korea’s second test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 28, South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered a speedy deployment of the controversial U.S. THAAD anti-missile defense system, reversing his earlier decision to postpone it pending an environmental review. READ MORE