Stimson Center & 38 North
January 30, 2023, 7:00 pm EST to 8:30 pm EST
In a recent interview, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol warned that if the North Korean nuclear threat continues to grow, Seoul would consider developing its own nuclear weapons, or ask the US to redeploy its arsenal to the Korean Peninsula. Although he later walked these comments back, it marked the first time a sitting South Korean president stated the option of an indigenous nuclear weapons program.
Discourse about South Korea’s nuclear future has been ongoing for several years now, with growing domestic support for a ROK nuclear weapons program. This panel will look at how public opinion has evolved in South Korea on this matter and discuss the potential political, military and economic consequences of such a decision.
Jamie Kwong, Fellow, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Jamie Kwong is a fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, focusing on public opinion of nuclear weapons issues; threats climate change poses to nuclear weapons; and multilateral regimes including the P5 Process, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. She completed her PhD in War Studies at King’s College London, where her dissertation examined US public opinion of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program.
Robert Gallucci, Distinguished Professor, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
Robert L. Gallucci is a Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. As As Ambassador-at-Large and Special Envoy for the US Department of State, he dealt with the threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction. He was chief US negotiator during the North Korean nuclear crisis of 1994. He has also served as Dean of the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service and president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Siegfried S. Hecker, Distinguished Professor of Practice, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
Siegfried Hecker is a Professor of Practice at James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. He was previously with Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a research professor in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. He is director emeritus of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he served as director from 1986 to 1997 and as senior fellow until July 2005.