South Korea is considering developing nuclear weapons, previously done secretly in the 1970s. This idea has gained momentum as North Korea continues to expand its nuclear arsenal, causing concern that the United States might not come to South Korea’s defense in an attack. South Korean officials have suggested that the country withdraws from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) if North Korea continues to test nuclear weapons and build its arsenal and then build its nuclear weapons if North Korea has not given up its weapons within six months. Supporters of the idea believe it would deter North Korea from attacking if it knew the South could retaliate.
However, critics argue that more nuclear weapons do not make the world safer from nuclear use, as seen in the case of India and Pakistan. Many South Koreans support the idea of building nuclear weapons because they feel that the US cannot be relied upon to defend them, and they worry that great powers surround them and need to be competitive.