February 25, 2024
Analysis

South Korea’s on-again, off-again relationship with nuclear weapons

North Korean threats and anxiety about US extended deterrence have led ROK to flirt with developing nukes since 1970s

“We could acquire our own nuclear weapons.”

President Yoon Suk-yeol’s comments earlier this year marked his most explicit to date about the possibility of South Korea going nuclear. His remarks alarmed many experts, yet they reflect concerns of many in the South about the ever-growing threat from North Korea, and whether the U.S. will really come to its defense when push comes to shove.