Thursday, May 11, 2017

#Nuclearban Game-Changer: South Korea?

South Korea's new leader: Moon Jae-in
(Image: NY Daily News)

What if South Korea participated in the negotiations at the UN on a global nuclear weapons ban?

Up until yesterday, that seemed unlikely. Based on information provided by the ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), "South Korea voted against the UN resolution to begin negotiations in 2017 on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security and has refused to declare that nuclear weapons should never be used again under any circumstances."

However, South Korea elected a new president two days ago, and he has said that his country should no longer sit on the sidelines while the US and China control the efforts to deal with a nuclear North Korea. Moon Jae-in favors a "Sunshine Policy" to achieve peaceful reconciliation with North Korea. (See "South Korea’s New President, Moon Jae-in, Promises New Approach to North") Not incidentally, Moon is willing to challenge the US on military systems like THAAD.

It is noteworthy that . . .

* the US actively protested against the nuclear weapons ban negotiations, and has urged/pressured its allies to do the same (See USA: Bringing a Trumpian Posture to the Nuclear Ban Talks. (Bankruptcy.) )

* China abstained from the vote on the negotiations, sent a representative to the preparatory meeting, but then announced it would sit the negotiations out. (See China DOES Have a Role in the Nuclear Ban Movement)

* North Korea voted in favor of the negotiations, but then said it would not participate in the negotiations if the US is not doing so. (See North Korea and #NuclearBan)

* Japan gave strong indications that it would participate, but ultimately declined to participate, saying it would be inconsistent with its reliance on the US nuclear umbrella. (See NUCLEAR WEAPONS BAN TALKS: With Japan at the Table (Hopefully))

Negotiations on a global nuclear ban resume in New York at the United Nations on June 15. Participation by South Korea could be a game-changer.

RELATED: Korea: A History of Living Under Nuclear Terror and The Cynical American Scapegoating of Korea as a Cover for Nuclear Terror

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