The Nuclear Arms Race in the Korean Peninsula
The nuclear security summit in Washington next Monday will include South Korea’s agenda on nuclear use. South Korean President, Lee Myung Bak, will give a speech announcing that South Korea’s nuclear program is not for a military purpose. He will also give his support on President Obama’s nuclear policy towards Iran and North Korea.
South Korea’s success as a major producer of nuclear energy raises some concern in Washington. South Korean policy makers have been campaigning to get end a deal struck between South Korea and the US nearly 40 years ago that prohibits the South from reprocessing spent fuel rods. If that turns out successful, South Korea will have the ability to extract materials to produce warheads. Although President Lee wants to convince the world leaders that South Korea only has good faith as a nuclear power, the possibility of South Korean scientists competing with North Korea in producing nuclear weapons remains a critical question.
Meanwhile, President Lee endorses Obama’s lastest nuclear policy statement that excludes Iran and North Korea from non-nuclear nations that the US will never attack with nukes. Some view that these two positions South Korea takes are not consistent.
Find out more in Asia Times.