During the State visit of the President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Moon Jae-in to Washington, D.C. in May 2021, the United States agreed to terminate the 1979 Missile Guidelines.
The 42-year-old guidelines initially limited the range of the ROK’s ballistic missiles to 180 km and their payload to no more than 500 kg. The guidelines were revised in 2001 and 2012, allowing the ROK to develop missiles with ranges of 300 km and 800 km respectively. In 2017, the 500 kg cap for ballistic missile payload was also removed.
This brief provides an assessment of the reactions of the People's Republic of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to termination of the missile guidelines.
For a number of reasons stated in the briefing, the reactions from China and North Korea have been modest.