Image credit: The White House, Flickr
For The Hill, Senior Fellow Andrew Latham discusses how South Korea’s growing sense of insecurity facing its aggressive neighbours despite security “guarantees” with the United States may be pushing Seoul to develop its own nuclear weapons capabilities.
And what happens if, with or without the United States’s blessing, Seoul does suddenly develop and deploy nuclear weapons of its own? Two possibilities. On the one hand, such a development might usher in an age of stability (if not exactly peace and harmony) based on mutual assured destruction. Imagine the Soviet-American nuclear relationship during most of the Cold War, but on a peninsular scale. On the other hand, it might heighten the North’s sense of vulnerability and insecurity, generating endless nuclear crises, any one of which could spiral out of control and end with a general nuclear war. Imagine the Soviet-American nuclear relationship during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Andrew Latham (@aalatham) is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Peace & Diplomacy and a Professor at Macalester College.