4 Items

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Will America's Asian Allies Go Nuclear?

| May 04, 2016

"In Northeast Asia, where national security still overwhelmingly dominates the perspectives and behavior of states, nuclear proliferation, both vertical and horizontal, is gaining stronger momentum. China’s recent but substantial investment in modernizing its nuclear arsenal and improving its reprocessing capacity is alarming its neighbors, as well as the United States. The nuclear pursuits of North Korea and, in particular, the acceleration of nuclear and missile tests seem to be spiraling, whereas diplomatic efforts to stop Pyongyang's nuclear path have been futile to date. In addition to its fourth nuclear test in January 2016, a series of missile and rocket tests and the recent firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), Pyongyang is reportedly preparing another nuclear weapons test in the coming months..."

Journal Article

The Evolution of US Extended Deterrence and South Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions

| April 18, 2016

Extended deterrence has been a main pillar of the security alliance between the United States and South Korea (Republic of Korea [ROK]) since the end of the Korean War. The changing dynamics of US extended deterrence in Korea, however, affected Seoul’s strategic choices within its bilateral alliance relationship with Washington. Examining the evolution of US extended deterrence in the Korean Peninsula until the Nixon administration, this article explains why South Korea began its nuclear weapons programme in a historical context of the US–ROK alliance relationship. This article argues that President Park Chung-hee’s increasing uncertainty about the US security commitment to South Korea in the 1960s led to his decision to develop nuclear weapons in the early 1970s despite the fact that US tactical nuclear weapons were still stationed in South Korea.

Korea Wolsong Nuclear Power Plant

IAEA, Korea Wolsong NPP

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

The Repercussions of South Korea’s Pro-Nuclear Energy Policy

| Oct. 08, 2015

"South Korea has been trying to develop its nuclear energy industry over half a century. Insufficient energy sources, increasing domestic energy consumption, and rising oil prices in the 1970s were significant drivers that turned South Korea into a nuclear energy producer. Today, the country runs 24 nuclear reactors in four nuclear power plant sites, the second highest number of reactors among Asian countries after Japan and fifth highest in the world. Despite the contribution of nuclear energy to the South Korean economy, however, the country is currently facing mounting domestic concerns over its pro-nuclear energy policy."