If there were real military or political benefits to redeploying nuclear weapons in South Korea, this idea would be worth a serious review, but redeploying them today makes no sense, and indeed could exacerbate the current crisis over North Korea’s nuclear threats.
Days after the 2016 U.S. election, a small group of German experts began to publicly debate whether Berlin should pursue one of three nuclear options. Although the shallow debate was short-lived, over time this effort may turn out to be a bellwether of fundamental change in Germany’s national identity.
If states truly want to help eliminate nuclear weapons, there are a few meaningful steps they can take to address urgent threats to the cause of global disarmament.
Even though arms control cannot prevent deliberate escalation, at least confidence-and-security-building measures could diminish the risk of unintended escalation. But the political realities in Moscow and Washington are not promising for conventional arms control in Europe.
To reduce danger, we need less bombast and better communication.
Amid escalating tensions, South Koreans have begun voicing their concerns about a nuclear-armed North Korea-and debating bringing U.S. tactical nuclear weapons back to the Korean peninsula.
Deterring North Korea is less risky than a preventative war.
Kim Jong Un is likely to view President Trump much like his predecessors—as a president who doesn’t like North Korea’s nuclear capabilities but with few realistic options for stopping it.
North Korea’s motivations for pursuing nuclear capabilities have changed over time, but are rooted in a sense of existential threats coming from outside the regime.
The North Korean nuclear crisis is far from over, and foreclosing escalation pathways is in the best interests of the United States, its allies, and Pyongyang.