2006 October 15 Sunday
Two Thirds Of South Koreans Want Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear proliferation begets more nuclear proliferation. The South Koreans want nuclear weapons of their own to deter Kim Jong-il's regime in Pyongyang.

SEOUL -- In less than a week since North Korea claimed to have tested a nuclear weapon, public opinion in the South has turned sharply against a South Korean policy of engaging the enemy in the belief it will eventually bring peace on the divided peninsula.

A JoongAng newspaper poll, several days after the reported nuclear test Monday, found 78 percent of respondents thought South Korea should revise its policy, and 65 percent said South Korea should develop nuclear weapons to protect itself.

I see a potential silver lining for Taiwan: The Taiwanese could develop their own nukes when Japan and South Korean develop nukes. How could the Taiwanese get singled out for trade sanctions under those circumstances? Then the Taiwanese would have a way to stay independent of the mainland.

The South Korean reaction ought to be a lesson for the Chinese leaders. They can either have two nuclear powers on the Korean peninsula or cut off the North Koreans so that the regime falls. Though such a regime collapse would bring with a very real risk of a massive artillery barrage by North Korean forces against Seoul South Korea. The South Koreans need a way to take out artillery fired from within hillsides.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 October 15 12:45 PM  US Foreign Weapons Proliferation Control

crush41 said at October 15, 2006 11:13 PM:

South Korea has twice the population, an economy 24x the size, and military spending over 4x as much as the emaciated North, where the population is so malnourished it is on average several inches shorter than it's neighbor to the south. There is no reason for South Koreans not to want nuclear power--at that point they become superior to the North in every conceivable way. Now it's Woody Allen vs Arnold Schwarzenneger, except the protrusion from Woody's shirt suggests he has a gun.

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