ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on May 14th, 2012 at 8:37 am

Will The US Redeploy Tactical Nuclear Weapons On the Korean Peninsula?

» by in: Politics-US

Here is a perfect example of election year politics in the US that is going to unnecessarily cause tension between the government and people of South Korea and the US military that will bear the consequences of the protests and public anger such a move will likely cause:

South Korea’s military has reacted negatively to a possible U.S. push to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, saying such a move won’t be helpful in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.

A source in the South’s military said Sunday that a redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea would run counter to a 1992 inter-Korean declaration on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and work against persuading the North to give up its nuclear weapons program.

The response came after reports last week that a U.S. congressional committee is pressuring the Obama administration to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula. The House Armed Services Committee, dominated by Republicans, approved an amendment to the fiscal 2013 national defense authorization bill Thursday that calls for the re-introduction of the sensitive weapons to South Korea, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

The U.S. pulled all of its forward-based nuclear weapons out of Korea in 1991 before the two Koreas signed a deal on the denuclearization of the peninsula. Since then, the U.S. has provided a so-called nuclear umbrella for the South.  [Yonhap]

Like with the phony student loan fight or the so called “War On Women” created by the Democrats as election year issues, the Republicans are firing back with their own manufactured election year issue by trying to make Democrats look weak on defense.  Besides trying to get the Democrats to appear to be soft on North Korea, the Republicans are also trying to get the Democrats to be on record as being soft on defense of the home land by trying to construct a missile defense base on the East Coast that the Pentagon doesn’t want.  There is little to no truth in any of these issues, but creating perceptions about the other is all that matters in an election year.  Unfortunately too many US voters are to unaware to realize the phony nature of these issues.

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  • Dr.Yu
    7:22 am on May 14th, 2012 1

    You see? SK is important for USA, at least for electoral purpose … Mr. Trump knows it very well … :lol:

  • Tom
    8:17 am on May 14th, 2012 2

    The US military isn’t going anywhere. So disgruntled GI’s should just accept that and do their jobs that they were hired to do. None of the belly aching about having to serve in Korea will do any good. :lol:

  • Dr.Yu
    8:50 am on May 14th, 2012 3

    Why send american nukes if we cam build them too? Well …. it is obviously just rhetoric ….

  • Louis T Dechert
    9:15 am on May 14th, 2012 4

    Have to take issue with my friend GI Korea on one of his references and asides.
    To review, “The Pentagon”–read that as the civilian or military bureaucrats walking closely behind the President in case they get the chance to show their affection–doesn’t want the (so-called) “East Coast Defense.”
    Heck, as a Texan, I often feel we would all be better off without the east coast altogether, including DC!
    BUT that does not blind me to ages-old defense strategies, tactics, threat analyses, Principles of War, and so on.
    It also does not blind me to the fact that The Congress does have some good minds and ALL constitutional oversight of the Defense establishment.
    The fact is that the democrats (and Soviets) have ALWAYS opposed missile defense anywhere, anytime, all the time. It was part of their hate-Reagan mantra—hence, hate America’s military revival from VN– and has never changed.
    The “Pentagon” did not want a Desert Storm” victory.
    The “Pentagon” killed military justification prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom so we sent too few troops, and then had to send the same too few eight or nine times, and then pulled out, under the present leadership, without victory. (Remember General Shinseki?)
    The current leadership castrated the effort in Afghanistan announcing withdrawal (retreat) dates up to three years in advance, then mused that the power and influence of the national and regional enemies in the area are increasing– while scheming, of course, about how to blame Bush when the Taliban start butchering the girls and women after our retreat! (VIETNAM finale all over again)
    Current Air Force generals–and others—whom the article cites have been told by their civilian (“Pentagon”) keepers to shut up if they want bureaucrats support for their F35 toys, etc., and drones—“back to the future” strategy. The Army had to fight those battles under Ridgway and Taylor and here we go again!
    More fundamental, however, is the simple fact that defensive measures CANNOT be designed, tested, manufactured and fielded AFTER the enemy’s offensive weapons start hitting the cities and troops.
    Disgracefully this has been our national defense default position. And troops such as those on Bataan (April 9, 1942) and Corregidor (May 6, 1942) have always paid the cost. More up close and personal, TF Smith, the Gauntlet, Chosin, Heartbreak, Punchbowl, 8,000+ still MIA, Korea 1950′s, paid the price imposed by the “Pentagon.”
    Going to take a better argument than “the Pentagon opposes. . .”
    Louis T Dechert

  • John in LA
    10:55 am on May 14th, 2012 5

    All sounds great BUT basing tactical nukes in SK doesn’t make one bit of difference one way or another.

  • Retired GI
    1:41 pm on May 14th, 2012 6

    Love your comment Louis T Dechert.

  • Bruce K. Nivens
    3:21 pm on May 14th, 2012 7

    The idea of redeploying U.S. tactical nukes in the ROK was brought up by a presidential candidate in ROK, according to an article in last Friday’s Korea Times (5/11/12):


    Conservative presidential hopeful Chung Mong-joon said Thursday
    the nation should consider reintroducing U.S. tactical nuclear
    weapons to bolster deterrence against an increasingly provocative
    North Korea.

    So don’t go blaming U.S. politicians solely for this idea. It’s coming from Korean politicians too.

    Also, I think it’s interesting that it’s being said that the ROK military doesn’t want to ratchet up tensions by reintroducing tactical nukes to the peninsula, citing the agreement struck between the two Koreas in the early 1990s. Hasn’t North Korea conducted two nuclear weapons tests since that time? Hasn’t North Korea pretty much violated the terms of those no-nukes agreements? Hasn’t it been said that we’re expecting North Korea to conduct a third nuclear test in the wake of its recent failed missile test? So the logic here is that if North Korea tests its nuclear weapons on the peninsula, that’s okay, but if South Korea had tactical nukes again, that would be an escalation of tensions? That’s very interesting.

  • Louis T Dechert
    7:00 pm on May 14th, 2012 8

    Thanks, “Retired GI”–and all the other comments.

    Bruce, Your thoughts are right on–if one accepts the idea that the US has to concede any enemy first strike against itself, take thousands of casualties, expend $30 billion or so a month, and eventual pullout with winning anything. And if we do win, spend billions more and multiple decades rebuilding the countries that we defeated.

    Watch out for the talk on tactical nukes–which, frankly, I had not heard being revived. Such talk is a tip-off to a gutless status. You can count on it: we want to cut boots and bucks, we think about going to air power, tactical nukes, and–now–agility, intelligence (drones) and gimmicks. There are volumes in Washington containing very serious discussions and planning for using nukes in ’51, ’52, ’53 in Korea, and in Indochina, in years leading up to defeat of the French at DBP. No targets within capabilities worth the risks then, and there would be even fewer today; today we can’t even kill single snipers firing on US soldiers in open combat after a decade of war in Afghanistan without asking “teacher” if it is ok.

    When the Strategic Air Command was king and the Army organized into battle groups under the so-called “Pentomic Concept” we actually became hostages/victims of our own tactical nuke doctrines: the weapons were supposed to be equalizers when we were outnumbered by thousands to one! Trouble was that the enemy knew our doctrines were losers.

    So we stood by with our tactical nukes (“Davy Crocketts,”280 mm guns, Honest and Little John rockets, and Nike and Nike Hercules missiles, 8” guns, and 155mm howitzers, all waiting for targets WHILE our enemies took over countries (Indochina) and maintained their empire by force (Eastern Europe and half of Korea). We never found a target for a single firing engagement. Targets of opportunity—for nukes—are even more fleeting today; and if you found one, in all probability Rules of Engagement (ROE) would trump you!

    Communist “hugging” tactics also proved to be great inhibitors to our side shooting off nuke support.

  • K
    4:05 am on May 24th, 2012 9

    Taking More Responsibility for Its Own Defense, Korea Holds Lessons for U.S. Policy in Iraq and Afghanistan

    As America winds down involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, we should look closely at the lessons of Korea, which is now preparing to take on a larger share of its own defense, both on the ground and in the air.

    The Korean peninsula, poised between Japan and China, remains a very dangerous place, so it’s heartening that, starting in 2007, the South Koreans began planning to take a greater role in their own defense – and, by extension, the defense of Western democracies like the United States.

    US House passes bill recommending tactical nukes in Korea

    WASHINGTON, May 18 (Yonhap) — The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the 2013 national defense authorization bill that recommends the redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula.

    The non-binding amendment approved by the House reflects the Republican Party’s push to get the incumbent Obama administration to take a firmer stance against North Korea’s nuclear weapons threat.

    The Republicans who control the House have also hinted that the redeployment of short-range, low yield nukes in South Korea and other parts of Northeast Asia could help nudge China into pressuring North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions. Conservative lawmakers in Washington have been frustrated by China’s reluctance to push North Korea on the nuclear issue.

    I’m pretty sure about the latter news it’s going to be vetoed, but it’s an interesting news nonetheless.

    In my opinion, redeploying US-controlled tactical nukes in Korea is not one of the useful means of helping Korea achieve greater defense self-sufficiency. The Korean government’s swift dismissal of the proposal is pretty clear about that. It has been intently pursuing cruise missile, ballistic missile and UAV development though as a replacement to US strike capabilities and the US military itself is in tacit support of this venture despite objections from armchair generals in the US foreign policy departments. Oh well, the Koreans would give the US foreign policy makers the finger when the push came to shove in the most decisive moment to self-defend. The American commanders themselves too will be quite happy about that.

    “So the logic here is that if North Korea tests its nuclear weapons on the peninsula, that’s okay, but if South Korea had tactical nukes again, that would be an escalation of tensions? That’s very interesting.”

    The logic here is that the ROK doesn’t do anything that will untip the precarious security balance in the region which does not help it achieve more self-sufficient defense. If allies like the US and Japan said that they are okay with Korea developing its own nukes and tactical missiles and the Chinese and Russians too have been ambivalent about it, Korea would certainly do it. Unfortunately, neither is the case and it never will be. The reason behind the Republican majority’s tactical nuke proposal and the reason behind its dismissal from the Korean side is much more, or much less, than about NK. The Republicans are mainly looking for some holes to take another shot at Obama and the Democrats for, while the Koreans are being rightfully conscious about the possible reaction from its regional neighbors and of course, about the Republicans’ ulterior motive. In the end the Korean government and the US executives’ swift dismissive action was the best course plan to have been followed and the Republicans’ bill, if passed, would have truly messed it up. Thankfully it will never happen.


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