Moon Chung-In, chairman of the Sejong Institute, writes in his opinion column for The Hankyoreh that it would be wise to combine conventional deterrance with diplomatic talks to create opportunities for denuclearization. Read more.
“Tactical nuclear weapons presume applications in actual combat situations — in particular, the preemptive use of nuclear capability in a situation of conventional hostilities. This means that the weapons could be used preemptively against South Korea or Japan, rather than merely as a retaliatory threat for the sake of deterrence.
Some observers have seen Kim’s remarks about tactical nuclear weapons as a “game changer.” This has led them to suggest a range of alternatives, from independent nuclear weapons development to the redeployment of US tactical weapons or the adoption of a NATO-style nuclear sharing arrangement in order to restore the “balance of terror.”
We saw a representative example of this in remarks by National Assembly member Hong Joon-pyo, who insisted that “if a NATO-style nuclear sharing policy is introduced, the North Korean nuclear program will be under control, and we will be freed from being slaves to North Korea’s nuclear program.”
But there is nothing actually new about North Korea’s tactical nuclear weapon push.”