The Dilemma of Having Two Nuclear Koreas

    Robert E Kelly

    Security, Asia

    A missile is launched during a long and medium-range ballistic rocket launch drill

    South Korea would gain an appealing symmetry with the North through nuclear weapons—but likely would never use them.

    It was probably inevitable that South Korea would entertain the development of nuclear weapons in the face of North Korea’s relentless push for them itself. That conversation is now increasingly widespread on TV and in the media here. Unsurprisingly, conservatives are calling for it; they have for awhile. But other, more moderate voices are kicking it around too, and television pundit shows are filled with this now. An alternative to this is the demand to bring American tactical nuclear weapons back to South Korea. A debate that has been on the fringe of South Korean political life for decades is now having its most robust public discussion ever. For the first time, a clear majority of South Koreans want this capability.

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    The National Interest

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