The Spectacle Blog

South Koreans Want Nukes

By on 10.13.06 | 1:36PM

My friend Mingi Hyun has some interesting details from Korean language news sources. A new poll shows 65 percent of South Koreans want their country to be nuclear-armed, and nearly as many believe that South Korea's dovish "sunshine" policy toward North Korea has failed.


South Korea's 17 former defense ministers have apparently advocated the return of American nuclear weapons to South Korea as a deterrent against

North Korea, according to the Donga Ilbo.

         They believed the current nuclear debacle to be the greatest emergency for the Republic of Korea since the Korean War of 1950-53, and that the current crisis required the South Korean government to revise its overall national defense system, including Seoul's North Korea strategy and tactical plans. If recent administrations have been competent with regards to their handling of South Korea's national defense, these changes should've already been in the works, if not ready for implementation. From what I've heard in Seoul, 'tis not the case.

         Commenting on the ministers' request, a South Korean Defense Ministry official told the Hankyoreh, a left-wing daily, that the physical placement of American nuclear weapons on the peninsula need not be necessary when they could be flown in from elsewhere. Tactically, that makes sense. Strategically? I'm not so sure.

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