CIA documents shed light on S Korea’s nuke ambition in 1970s


As the international community continues to grapple with how best to thwart North Korea's nuclear ambitions, a Seoul-based publication has revealed declassified US Central Intelligence Agency documents shedding light on South Korea's own efforts to acquire nuclear weapons four decades ago.

Global Asia, a publication of the East Asia Foundation in Seoul, said the previously secret US documents show that South Korea continued to develop nuclear weapons at least two years after Washington thought it had ceased during the 1970s.

Such a past can help shape sensible policies in the current regional efforts to rein in North Korea's nuclear program, scholars Peter Hayes and Chung-in Moon said in the Global Asia September issue.

Chung, Global Asia's editor-in-chief and a professor at Yonsei University, and Hayes, director of the Nautilus Institute and a member of Global Asia's editorial board, claimed Seoul's former nuclear ambition was "largely triggered by eroding or ambiguous security assurances from Washington."

The uncertainty left the late President Park Chung-hee wanting the country to have its own nuclear deterrent, they said in the article. The scholars presented six main points. First, the Park government engaged..

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