In the aftermath of recent North Korean actions and threats, there has been in recent times some open debates and discussions about the prospects of South Korea “going nuclear” i.e. developing its own nuclear weapons. This brief argues that short of abrogating all its bilateral and multilateral treaties and obligations with heavy costs, the prospects of it doing so in the short/medium term are not that easy and may not be cost effective.
North Korea’s uranium enrichment programme has made the US jittery and is not totally confident of reopening the six-party talks. Washington needs assurances regarding North Korea’s future nuclear programmes and the key to finding a solution to the present stalemate lies with Beijing.
Irritants like the Dokdo/Takeshima issue, if allowed to linger further, will affect Japan-South Korea relations including the security cooperation they have envisaged given common regional security concerns.
The issue of “comfort women” continues to haunt Japan’s relations with its neighbour, South Korea. Koreans are unable to forget the atrocities committed by the Japanese military during the long colonial rule from 1910-1945 over the entire Korean peninsula.
The people of Yeonpyeong Island remember with trepidation the devastating attack of November 2010. Since the Cheonan incident in March 2010 and chastened by the attack last year, South Korea has beefed up its military arsenal and strengthened its defence preparedness.
South Korea hopes that the new base will help strengthen its territorial rights on Dokdo as the base would enable its ships to reach the islands quickly.
The Jeju naval base is intended to serve two objectives: to protect the country from possible missile attacks from North Korea and to allow the United States to station Aegis class destroyers.
While keeping the doors open for negotiations, the US and South Korea are unlikely to relax any of the terms and conditions they have set for Pyongyang.
In response to increasing North Korean hostilities, South Korea’s Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin unveiled a 73-point military reform measures in early March 2011
The temporary hope of peace returning to the Korean peninsula following North Korea’s peace overtures dissipated no sooner than it started when North Korean negotiators walked out of the meeting room at the DMZ in Panmunjam.