Back to Events of Friday 30th July 2021

Monday
22
NOV

01:00 PM

An Impossible Choice?: Past, Present, and Future of South Korea's Independent Nuclear Arms

Dr. In Young Min (Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg University)

While North Korea has always been a focus of heated debates due to its nuclear weapons program, relatively little attention, however, has been paid to the reactions from South Korea. In fact, South Korea is a puzzling case from the perspective of nuclear proliferation as it undoubtedly possesses more than enough material resources to build nuclear weapons on its own. Not only does it boast solid industrial infrastructure and manufacturing base, South Korea has become a major exporter of nuclear power reactors in recent years. South Korea, therefore, is considered as the “nuclear threshold state” that could “quickly build nuclear devices if they chose to do so.” The credibility of American ‘nuclear umbrella’ has always been a subject of suspicion. Seoul, furthermore, has a noteworthy history of pushing ahead with a secret nuclear weapons program during the 1970s under authoritarian regime. What made South Korea to seek nuclear weapons in the early 1970s when it was economically and technologically underdeveloped? Why South Korea today does not show any serious interest in the nuclear option to deter its recalcitrant enemy equipped with growing nuclear capacity? Will Seoul rethink its strategic choice as the regional security landscape deteriorates with the competition between the U.S. and China? This lecture explores various factors behind South Korea’s strategic thinking about its independent nuclear weapons in the past, present and future.

Streaming / Video URL

https://heiconf.uni-heidelberg.de/zmta-7tur-3nkr-xnzt

Organizer

Zentrum für Ostasienwissenschaften

Homepage Organizer

https://www.zo.uni-heidelberg.de

Contact

Institut für Sinologie

Alle Termine der Veranstaltung 'Vortragsreihe Ostasien Aktuell':

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An Impossible Choice?: Past, Present, and Future of South Korea's Independent Nuclear Arms

Dr. In Young Min (Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg University)

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