U.S. Sounds More Warnings of Nuke Arms Race in Northeast Asia

  • By Cho Yi-jun

    September 10, 2019 13:08

    American officials are increasingly worried that less credible deterrence against North Korea's nuclear weapons development could persuade U.S. allies in Northeast Asia including South Korea to develop their own nuclear weapons.

    The latest warning came in a U.S. Congressional Research Service in a report released last Friday.

    The report was issued the same day that U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun also raised the possibility of South Korea and Japan developing nuclear weapons if Washington's efforts to denuclearize Pyongyang end in failure.

    "The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, for example, explicitly states that 'credible U.S. extended nuclear deterrence will continue to be a cornerstone of U.S. non-proliferation efforts,'" the report states. However, "many analysts have argued that, if allies were not confident in the reliability and credibility of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, they may feel compelled to acquire their own nuclear weapons."

    "Such calculations might be evident in Japan and South Korea, as they face threats or intimidation from nuclear-armed neighbors like China and North Korea," it added. "In recent years, some politicians in South Korea have called for the return of U.S. nonstrategic nuclear weapons to the peninsula, or even South Korea's development of its own nuclear capability, as a response to North Korea's development and testing of nuclear weapons," it warned.

    This view "does demonstrate that some may see U.S. security guarantees as fragile," it concludes.

    • Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com
    Previous Next
    All Headlines Back to Top