Kim Jong Un has a maniac ambition to accumulate nuclear weapons and use it to destroy his perceived enemies. As he pursues his ambition, the international system is thrown into a state of quagmire for salient reasons. First, there’s fear Mr. Kim will use his nukes against non-nuclear powers; violating the norms against first use nuke. And, or, cause other Asian states to abandon their Non-nuclear Proliferation Treaty and pursue bombs to protect themselves or perhaps to force N/Korea to cold war.
Although, the first looks unlikely to happen for now but there’s every possibility for the second to materialize. South Korea, Taiwan or Japan could go nuclear. Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies argues that, of the three countries, S/Korea is more likely to acquire nuclear weapons as the idea is circulating among its elites. A recent opinion poll shows that nearly two-thirds of South Koreans back a nuclear capability. A prove to this is the statement by S/Korean 2012 presidential candidate, Chung Mong-joon, who beseeched his country to begin nuclear program as a way to force North into nuclear negotiation.
The Japanese hawks as well are clamoring for nukes and just on April 1, the cabinet confirmed that going nuke is in no way a violation to Japan’s constitution. Japan is the only one of the 185 non-nuclear armed parties with complete Uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing. So, Mr. Fitzpatrick believes that japan will ‘’breakout’’ soon.
It should be noted that Taiwan, South Korea and japan are adept in technologies and that India and Pakistan are nuclear powers since 1998 without becoming international pariahs. Nevertheless, nuclear experts believe it is improbable that Japan and South Korea will abandon NPT for bombs because the dangers of it outweigh the benefits.
First, it will threaten their alliances with United States. South Korea’s security depends on US likewise Japan’s economy.
Secondly, the two states will be vulnerable to economic sanctions from United Nations.
Thirdly, experts believe North Korea may respond violently to any attempt by these two states to launch nukes, and thus, he may strike.
Finally, the city of Nagasaki and Hiroshima will certainly refuse any nuclear attempts.
For Taiwan, there may be a possibility. Taiwan has been under threat of unification from Mainland China and thus, she needs to earnestly protect herself. Hence, building defense weapon is paramount especially when she has neither US nor any great power to protect her unlike Japan and S/Korea. On the other hand, China continues to militarize the aerial and sea tormenting small states to succumb to its forces.
US president, Barrack Obama has invested resources to make impassioned plea for a world without nuclear weapons but his effort in Asia achieved no real success.