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South Korea’s nuclear weapons advocates more vocal since North Korea’s missile test

flag-S-KoreaSouth Korean Nuclear Proponents: Conventional Deterrence is Failing, VOA, Brian Padden, 25 Aug 16   text-relevant Youmi Kim in Seoul contributed to this report. SEOUL — South Korean advocates of nuclear deterrence say the government in Seoul must pursue its own nuclear weapons programs to defend against North Korea’s growing nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.

Song Dae-sung, a political science professor at Kunkuk University in Seoul and author of the book Let’s Have Nuclear Power makes the case for a nuclear armed South Korea. “If North Korea becomes a nuclear-armed state and its adversary does not own nuclear power, then the non-nuclear state becomes a slave or hostage of the nuclear state. This is a basic principle of international politics,” said Song.

National Assembly Representative Won Yoo-chul, a leader within of the ruling Saenuri Party, has also been a strong nuclear advocate.

Won has put together a study group in the parliamentary National Defense Committee to assess the risks and benefits of South Korea pursuing its own nuclear program. “The most efficient way to deter nuclear warfare is to have nukes for our self-defense,” Won has said.

Growing threat

Seoul’s nuclear proponents argue that the international sanctions imposed on North Korea for its fourth nuclear test and most recent long-range rocket launch have so far not deterred Pyongyang……..

Negative consequences

However, South Korean President Park Geun-hye supports the current deterrence and containment regime that involves a close military alliance with the United States and increasing international pressure on the North Korean government.

Opponents of arming South Korea with nuclear weapons say it would unravel the security architecture that has maintained peace in the region for decades.

“Those guys arguing for the possession of nuclear weapons are first, shortsighted, second, they do not understand the negative consequences of that kind of move, and third, that would lead to a nuclear domino on the Korean Peninsula in Northeast Asia,” said Moon Chung-in, a political science professor with Yonsei University.

While some supporters contend that a nuclear South Korea would exert pressure on North Korea or China, opponents argue it would actually dissipate international support for North Korean sanctions.

“Who I think would absolutely be thrilled with such a development would be North Korea, because if the ROK (Republic of Korea) were to pursue its own nuclear deterrence then it would justify everything they have done,” said regional security analyst Daniel Pinkston with Troy University in Seoul.


The United Nations might also impose economic and diplomatic sanctions on South Korea for developing nuclear weapons in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) it signed as a non-nuclear weapons state.

North Korea’s withdraw from the NPT in 2003 is a major justification for the current sanctions in place against it……….

Critics argue that Japan would also likely follow suit and acquire its own nuclear weapons, further increasing regional tensions and the potential for nuclear war in Asia.

August 27, 2016 - Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war

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