South Korea Now Openly Discussing Arming Itself With Nuclear Weapons

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At a glance

  • South Korea’s president has said that his country might build nuclear weapons in response to the continuing buildup of similar weapons in North Korea. This is the most explicit announcement so far from Seoul that it’s actively considering nuclear weapons, although the disclosure is also very likely calculated to pressure the United States into giving Seoul a role in nuclear war planning on the peninsula, and perhaps also to redeploy U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea, the last of these having being withdrawn in 1991.
  • Indeed, this is apparently the first time since 1991 that a South Korean president has actually brought up the idea of fielding homegrown nuclear weapons.

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