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North Korean Nuclear Nationalism and the Threat of Nuclear War in Korea

  • AUTHORPeter Hayes and Scott Bruce, Nautilus Institute
  • Apr 21, 2011

Peter Hayes, Professor, RMIT University and Nautilus Institute Executive Director, and Scott Bruce, Nautilus Institute Director, write, “We suggest that as of 2009, the DPRK made the ROK the main target of its nuclear strategy rather than the United States as was the case from 1991-2009.  The sinking of the ROK corvette Cheonan in 2010 provides a mini-case study of the collision of ROK and DPRK historical trajectories, and portends continuing clashes involving nuclear threat that need to be managed to avoid escalation to nuclear next-use. The artillery attack on Yeonpyeong island in November 2010 may be the second in what proves to be a series of such risky provocations.  We conclude the paper by outlining the advantages of a ROK-Japan only nuclear weapon free zone relative to alternative ROK responses to the threat posed by the DPRK nuclear breakout.”

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