South Korean nukes will spell disaster

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South Korean nukes will spell disaster

The ruling party is aiming for diplomatic and military suicide with its recent efforts to arm South Korea with nuclear weapons.

Proponents of such plan advocate convincing the United States to deploy their tactical nukes in the South. Doing so would unnecessarily
provoke China, Russia, and most of Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam and the Philippines. China has already shown its stance on American military hardware in Korea with the recent THAAD debates. The fallout from this event is just now beginning to be felt; going a step further and requesting nukes would permanently and irreparably damage Korea’s relationship with China. As an export-central economy, such a diplomatic blow would be devastating.

Also, the ruling party understands that the leadership in the North is extremely unpredictable. Their reaction to Southern nukes would be difficult to foresee, but everyone can be sure that it will be violent. It will simply escalate tensions in the peninsula and produce a North that is more difficult to control and reason with.

Furthermore, Korea has advocated for nonproliferation in the peninsula for the last three administrations. A dramatic about-face in policy stance is questionable at best and radically hypocritical at worst. Acquisition of nuclear weapons would have Korea jump down from the moral high ground, leaving it with little leverage against the North.

Even if Korea possessed nukes, their role in the case of a violent conflict cannot be a good one. Regardless of who fires first, the devastation these nuclear weapons would leave on the peninsula will leave no victors, only victims. The fact that the ruling party is willing to risk everything Koreans have worked for in the last century, all the cultural and economic development, to simply grandstand in front of people everyone already knows to be mentally unstable, is despicable and unforgivable.
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