The active launch of short-range missiles off the East Coast by the reclusive North Korea during last week has prompted the South Korean people to support the call of constructing their own nuclear weapons.
During 1970, South Korea developed a secret nuclear weapons program under the late Military dictator Park Chung-hee. The active involvement from the US to halt this program saw the old dictatorship government of South Korea abandon this nuclear program.
South Koreans are definitely showing an increase in their desire to own and build Nuclear Weapons. The thought of the South Korean citizens commenting about essentially wanting to build their own atomic bond, could squash the peaceful efforts over the last few decades of Nonproliferation, and project a new arms race in East Asia.
There is a prominent pro nuclear faction in South Korea and gaining substantial support for the call to develop nuclear weapons. They recognize the unsuccessful negotiations with North Korea over the last two decades and believe it is time to take action to defend the country appropriately.
Although South Korea has a stronger economy than its neighbor North Korea, the cost of developing nuclear weapons might well be delayed. Cautious investigation would be required to absorb the cost of this production without hurting the economy.
The current president Park Geun-hye, the daughter of the military dictator had not considered developing nuclear weapons thus far.
Under a 1974 nuclear alliance, the United States supplies fuel for the nuclear reactors use. This agreement will expire next year and it is probable that negotiations will take place to lift the ban on reprocessing the nuclear rods. If this were agreed upon, South Korea would be able to develop and own nuclear weapons. This will indeed place them in a more powerful position.
The only countries under the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France. There is an understanding they will all share the peaceful benefits of nuclear energy.
When North Korea made the decision to build their own nuclear weapons, they withdrew from the treaty and if South Korea continues with this idea of pursing the nuclear weapons program, then they too would have to withdraw from the treaty. Although this could be considered a strategic move by the US to re-position the nuclear weapons in South Korea and could transform the North Korean nuclear situation.
Japan is in a similar position as South Korea whereby both countries depend on national nuclear technology. Recently a former governor of Japan, called for the development of nuclear weapons, citing the fact of both China and Russia have nuclear weapons and could easily take the land from them. Should they consider pursuing this action it would take up to ten years to complete the first nuclear weapons.
The argument will continue, and in all probability, they will remain under the United States Nuclear shelter.
Written by Laura Oneale