Four decades ago South Korea’s President Park Chung-hee, father of the current president, launched a quest for nuclear weapons. Washington, the South’s military protector, applied substantial pressure to kill the program.
Today it looks like Park might have been right.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continues its relentless quest for nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. The South is attempting to find an effective response.
Although the DPRK is unlikely to attack since it would lose a full-scale war, the Republic of Korea remains uncomfortably dependent on America. And Washington’s commitment to the populous and prosperous ROK likely will decline as America’s finances worsen and challenges elsewhere multiply.
In response, there is talk of reviving the South’s nuclear option. Won Yoo-cheol, parliamentary floor leader of the ruling Saenuri Party, told the National Assembly: “We cannot borrow an umbrella from a neighbor every time it rains. We need to have a raincoat and wear it ourselves.”