A view of the KORI nuclear power plant in Busan (Courtesy Reuters)
Gordon G. Chang, Daily Beast: As South Koreans Lose Faith in Uncle Sam They Want Nukes of Their Own
Frustrated and frightened by North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, Seoul wants more protection. Trump says they should build their own nukes. Does that make sense?
Here’s an unsettling thought. “If North Korea conducts a fifth nuclear test, South Korea should immediately move to arm itself with nuclear capabilities,” Won Yoo-chul of the ruling Saenuri Party told Seoul’s semi-official Yonhap News Agency last week. “The existing policies are insufficient to stop the North’s technology development.”
Such sentiments are becoming commonplace. “Suppose you have a dangerous neighbor with a gun,” said Chung Mong-joon, when he was a ruling party lawmaker in 2013. “You have to take measures to protect yourself. And being a gun control advocate isn’t going to help you.”
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WNU Editor: South Korea .... like Japan ... has the expertise and materials to develop nuclear weapons. But to do so would entail sanctions, international isolation, and blow-back from other countries in Asia. Fortunately .... the only scenario that would permit such a development will be a U.S. withdrawal from the region .... which is not going to happen for the foreseeable future.