The United States has recently signed a new military agreement with South Korea, much to the chagrin of China and North Korea.
According to the agreement, US submarines carrying nuclear missiles will patrol the Korean coast.
South Koreans are increasingly worried about the strengthening of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. They don’t fear an attack by Kim Jong-un’s troops, but instead wonder how far the U.S. would be willing to go to defend South Korea if American cities were threatened with North Korean nuclear weapons attacks.
The question has become a hot topic since last January, when South Korea’s president raised the possibility of his country acquiring nuclear weapons. American leaders are concerned because it is the first time a South Korean president has gone that far.
Joe Biden has also announced that a nuclear strike against an ally would sign the end of the regime that carried out the attack.
China’s real interests
Chinese leaders have condemned the new military agreement between South Korea and the US. US leaders will stoke regional tensions and incite conflict.
Of course, Chinese leaders are not critical of North Korea, which is engaged in an arms race and whose people are being starved by the regime.
In fact, the Chinese government is interested in buying South Korea nuclear weapons. why A nuclear South Korea would no longer need the US nuclear umbrella.
Such nuclear independence would contribute to weakening the alliance between China and the US. This is precisely what China is looking for. The same reasoning applies to other US allies.
For China, the benefits of an eventual separation between the United States and its allies outweigh the risks of nuclear proliferation.
An unsatisfactory contract
Unfortunately, the new military agreement between South Korea and the United States is far from certain to satisfy the South Korean people.
The question of America’s commitment to South Korea’s defense is theoretical. This is subject to change in the United States.
The rise of isolationist US currents could make US commitments to South Korea’s defense even more questionable.
It is clear that South Korea has the know-how and equipment to rapidly develop a substantial nuclear arsenal. Not to mention, the country may already have some nuclear weapons like Israel or Japan.
American leaders have no real desire to reassure their ally. But it would be naïve to believe that no new country will acquire nuclear weapons in the coming years.
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