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PostSouth Korea and Nuclear Weaspons (Istvan Simon, USA, 06/18/18 4:58 am)
Thanks to John Heelan (June 14) for calling our attention to South Korea's nuclear program. Frankly, with Kim Jong-un's nukes this had to be expected, but I was not aware of it. Contrary to North Korea, South Korea is a technological and economic giant, so clearly it is only a matter of political will for South Korea to decide to develop its own nuclear weapons.
In my opinion, I will argue that it will make no difference, except for an increased risk of a nuclear accident which of course is a terrible possibility.
Neither Kim Jong-un nor South Korea, nor any nuclear power in the world, will ever use nuclear weapons intentionally. Nuclear weapons are simply useless in a world that has multiple nuclear powers. No power will ever use them intentionally, because it cannot predict the reaction of other nuclear powers to its use, and therefore the use of nuclear weapons is too high a risk for any power that has a sane person at the helm. Though I hesitate to call Trump or Putin or Kim Jong-un for example sane, nonetheless none of them is so insane that they would risk using nuclear weapons.
It follows from my analysis that we would indeed be much better off if the whole world would get rid of nuclear weapons as David Krieger advocates. Unfortunately, in my opinion, as I have also argued before on WAIS, the probability that this can be achieved is near zero. It is simply too hard to convince all current nuclear powers that they would be better off without these terrible weapons.
I am afraid we are condemned to live in a nuclear world where mutual deterrence is currently preferred to nuclear disarmament.
JE comments: Meanwhile, a Daily Beast poll concludes that self-identified Republicans in the US have a slightly more favorable view of Kim Jong-un than of Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Not sure what to make of this: