Seoul Questions Own Defense Strategy as North Korea Nuclear Threat Grows
South Korean defense spending is up and a debate is growing over the nuclear optionBy Alastair Gale, WSJ
Updated Oct. 13, 2016 12:06 p.m. ET
SEOUL—North Korea’s nuclear push is triggering a military buildup here and adding fuel to a hot debate over South Korea’s defense strategy—including whether the country should have its own nuclear option.
A few conservative politicians and a small majority in opinion polls have for years supported South Korea getting access to nuclear weapons. Lately, some prominent new voices have joined them, including Kim Jin-pyo, a four-term lawmaker from the main, left-of-center opposition party, who said Seoul needed a “balance of terror” to match North Korea’s threat.
Mr. Kim said nuclear weapons in South Korea would also pressure China and Russia to deal with North Korea more seriously.