April 25, 2023

A Third Nuclear Age? What to Expect from US-South Korea Summit.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Journalist: Howard LaFranchi

“For so long our primary preoccupation when it came to nuclear proliferation was with the rogue states, Iran and North Korea, but now we see it’s our friends who are contemplating acquiring nuclear weapons,” says Jon Wolfsthal, senior fellow in nuclear issues at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington.

“For them, the U.S. is seen as less dominant and less reliable,” he adds, “and they are worried the U.S. won’t be there with the security guarantees that reassured them in the past.”

That is why he anticipates hearing a strong U.S. security commitment to South Korea – including a prominent reference to nuclear protections – at the conclusion of the Biden-Yoon meetings.

“I fully expect this summit will deliver a reaffirmation of the U.S. nuclear umbrella – and in response, reaffirmation of South Korea as a nonnuclear state,” says Mr. Wolfsthal, who served as senior director for arms control and nonproliferation in the Obama White House. “We’ll hear it restated that South Korean nuclear weapons are not in accord with the alliance.”

Read the full story and more from The Christian Science Monitor.


  • Jon B. Wolfsthal

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Jon B. Wolfsthal is senior advisor to Global Zero, serves on the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and is a member of the US Department of S...