The Instigator
Pro (for)
2 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Should South Korea develop a nuclear weapon against the North?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/9/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 627 times Debate No: 104868
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Rising tensions in Korean peninsula have alerted people around the world that another world war might break out in any moment. Although South Korea and Japan have been developing their own defensive systems and world class military forces, with the North building its own ballistic missiles with constant nuclear tests, their efforts and strategic methods to prevent a war are now on the verge to go haywire. Without a doubt, North Korea will eventually succeed in gaining the mass destructive weapon that they long to acquire despite the severe international sanctions applied on their economy. China, the only country that North Korea calls their ally, is another rising threat in the region with steadfastly growing economy and threatening military forces. Chinese government seems to show that they are cooperating with the world to prevent any atrocity caused by North Korea, but it is still unsure what their actual purpose is with their money and technology going into the Kim regime in the name of humanitarian aids. Moreover, China is potentially seeking to put neighboring countries under their control that American influence in the Far East region will inevitably fade away as time goes by.
Japan, with its current constitution which bans possession of military forces, is clearly under insecure circumstance with missiles flying over their lands and oceans. But, the country is understandably traumatized by the usage or adoption of nuclear weapons with its painful history of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that it is highly unlikely for the Japanese government to obtain enough agreements to adopt nuclear weapons from the Japanese public.
Therefore, to balance the power in this region, one of the options that is to be explored is to give South Korea rights to develop nuclear weapons. It will not only secure the freedom and democratic ideology in the region, but can also prevent any kinds of threats from the North and China.


Okay, i just wanted to thank you for this unique topic, and a topic that needs to discuss a little more. So, again thank you Crampage...

So, you think it's a good idea to have South Korea to develop their own nuclear weapons. You also think it would balance the power in this region. I will disagree with you on this. I will be brief in this round and go more in detail in the later rounds.

Firstly South Korea would do not need their own nuclear weapons when they under the U.S. protective umbrella. The U.S. will defend South Korea from any aggressive behavior toward them. This is why there is around 28,000 U.S troops station in South Korea. And any attack on the South will have huge consequences, with a massive military response from the U.S.

Secondly why it's a bad idea for South Korea to have nukes, is China will be very opposed to the idea of having South Korea having weapons of mass destruction. China just now agree to have trade back with the South because they really didn't like the (Thaad) in the South Korea. If South take steps toward those weapons it will offset the balance in this region. It would be a new arms race. And things will only go up in tension.

Thirdly this could force the North to attack first. This would probably be the only time North Korea would attack first if the South decides to go nuclear. Again this would not keep the peace if South Korea go this route. This will not keep the balance in place, it will offset it.

I will go further into detail on why this would be very costly if South Korea did take steps toward nuclear weapons. But as of right now I will turn it back to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for your participation in this debate and your kind remarks.

So, for your three opinions, I must give you some additional opinions of mine.

First of all, the point you have made about U.S. protective umbrella, I must say that it won't work well in this case, with the two Koreas are so close geographically (Seoul to NK border is only 35km far). If North Korea were to drop a nuclear weapon in Seoul, it would reach to its final destination within 5 minutes or so. Therefore, the existence of US stationary army in South Korea will be of no use, if the nuclear weapon was to be launched.

Secondly, about Chinese opposition.
China will definitely go against the idea of South Korea deploying any kinds of nuclear warheads. But, if the Chinese were to actually start a war because of it, the consequence and loss would be far beyond their imagination. Therefore, I am inclined to think that Chinese will not take the risk of losing everything they have achieved just because of South Korean nuclear armament, but they will seek for some other methods, possibly economic sanctions. Furthermore, South Koreans would also know about the possible consequence after they armed themselves with strategic nuclear weapons. This means, when they actually make such decision, the whole act was elaborately calculated that we must assume there must be some particular reasons why they would still dare to go for stronger military power, even if there was a possible economic deterioration. Do you think the South will start a new arms race? I think it has already been started by the others.

Lastly, I do not think North Korea will actually launch the nuclear missiles in any possible situation. Besides, if North Korea thinks it is okay to make nuclear weapons simply by their wills, why can't the South? their logic will soon go contradictory as soon as they try to stop the South and they will eventually prove themselves that they were wrong in building up such disastrous weapons. Therefore, even before the South finishes its nuclear projects, North would lose in its contradictory logics that they would have no chance to launch nuclear missiles towards any respective countries.


Thanks for replying back because most people don't follow through on these debates.

Okay let's get started, shall we...

So you really think South Korea, wouldn't get the full protections of the US, or the US would not have the technology to do anything against the North Korea missiles. Where that is in fact wrong. Let me tell you why the US could defend South Korea from the North Korea most powerful weapons. It's called a missiles system. More preferably called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. "which was bolstered with an additional four missile launchers in September in reponse to North Korea"s fast-developing nuclear technology". (1.)
I wonder where you get this 5 minutes from, saying a nuke can reach Seoul South Korea within 5 minutes or so. Without sharing where you got that piece of information. Plus that's a big IF North Korea lunch. And even if they did lunch the US system would be able to shoot it down.
Plus the fact is NK would not have any resource to actually last long in arm conflict against the US. So South Korea would not need a nuclear weapon to deter the North.

Now to the Second part. Glad you know China would not be Okay with South Korea having nuclear weapons. China would have options for the South if they did opt in with (WMD). Yes, a war would be unlikely because China would be able to choke out the life out of South Korea with economic pressure like sanctions, and trade. So China, have options way before threating to go to war. SO again this would not be wise for South Korea to go nuclear. It would create more tension than needed. As for your question do i think the South would start an arms race, the answer would be yes. North Korea has been building their nuclear program since the 1990's. So really the race hasn't really started. But if the South decide to go on this path it would upset China, and it would encourage Japan and other in this region to go this path too. So, again it would offset the balance in Asia.

The third part. You might be right the North might not lunch even if South Korea decides to go nuclear. But you don't actually know, do you? The North would be scary and might do anything in this case. And the reason why the North is where there is today, wasn't an overnight success it takes them well over 20 years to get where they are right now. And both the US and China let this happen. You can bet China would not allow the South to do the same. Plus North Korea would have a say in this too. Like i said before this will not end well if South Korea do this. It will create a whole new set of problmes, and problems South does not need.

Looking forward to your responds....
Debate Round No. 2


Thanks for your quick response. Well, this is my first time to use this website so I do not know much about how it works but anyways.

The part where you have mentioned about THAAD system. I strongly doubt if it would detect every missile launch and shoot every single one of them down during their flight. Unfortunately, there are no ways to prove if it works properly or not unless it is used in real combat. So, I do think THAAD system is one of the strategical options in terms of reinforcing US defensive system, but whether the system is completely perfect or not is still to be discovered and considered.
Plus, THAAD in Korea does not defend the capital. It is deployed in Seongju county which is in southern part of the country. Here is the link that you might be interested in reading.
I was not prepared enough for the hypothesis that I have made, in which I said North Korean missiles would reach to Seoul in 5 minutes. But, I think it was a relevant assumption, considering the geographical distance between two Koreas in the peninsula.

Regarding your point of view in China. I must tell you that, even though China is a huge economic partner of South Korea that it is capable of affecting Korean economy enormously, but South Korea is also an economic giant with its GDP ranked in 11th last year ( and Koreans will not die from hunger or devastating poverty just because of Chinese sanctions against them.
Besides, by the time South Korea starts to build up their nuclear weapons, it will have been well prepared for the "expected" Chinese retaliation. So, I do not think they will suffer as much as the North.
I understand that it will increase tensions in the region. But, I must tell you that the peace only comes when we have a strong power. The world that we are living in right now is a lot more peaceful than before, because of the existence of nuclear weapons. Arms race can be quite fearsome to normal civilians when it becomes apparent, but we never know where we will end up in. The effort of South Korea to adopt nuclear missiles will prevent any kinds of exploitation by the North and eventually balance the power in the region.

You are right. We never know whether they will launch it or not. But, this argument is just too extreme to be discussed.
China and North Korea, even the US and Japan will stop the South by using every international channel and it will certainly bring unwanted problems to this particular part of the world. But, what if South asks the US to deploy American nuclear weapons in Korea and the contract comes to fruition? There are a lot of possible ways for the South to get nuclear weapons while reducing the risks that come along simultaneously.
Back to the point, if South Korea does build its own nuclear weapons, it will face a lot of problems. But, considering the situation right now with North Korea's constant nuclear tests and Chinese uprising power, they are only left with limited options to overcome this matter. If they were to have problems anyways, they would choose a path that they could at least survive out, which can be developing nuclear weapons. Tit for tat.

I personally hope that there will be no more violence but this is just a debate to discuss whether this option can be explored or not so I just want to say thanks for joining in this debate.


You are right about Seoul, the Thaad system may not protect that as much IF conflict start. Seoul, is just way to close to the line of fire. But having their own nuclear bomb won't help if or when war does happen. But having the US there has already keep South Korea safe for over 60 years. And South Korea already have nukes, and they called the US military. So, really South Korea don't need there own if they be using the US.

"I was as not prepared enough for the hypothesis that I have made, in which I said North Korean missiles would reach to Seoul in 5 minutes. But, I think it was a relevant assumption, considering the geographical distance between two Koreas in the peninsula". This statement is considered false, because you can't prove a nuke would hit Seoul in 5 minutes.

You know why South Korea is 11 on the GDP? It's because of the trade with China.
Just trading Export, With China is two times longer than with any other country.
$137,140,475,711 is where it at in 2015. The second country is the US at $70,130,052,444. Now the imports is the same thing, trading with China at $90,235,421,574. The second country is Japan trading at $45,853,947,243 in 2015. So, again this is two rimes bigger than any other country. So, if South Korea go nuclear, they will be huge Chinese retaliation. It would not make sense economies, or military for the South to go this route. You wonder why every time, the South suggest going the nuclear route it always get shot down. It's because it wouldn't make sense. Why have they people suffer, and lose soo much if going nuclear doesn't guarantee anything in return. Going nuclear just doesn't add up in this case. So that's why it will always talk about it, but never put the effort in to it. Because it don't add up. (2.)

"So there is little upside to SK going nuclear. But there will be predictable downsides: bad press globally, NK crowing that their program is now justified and legitimate, China saying N and S Korea are now morally equivalent. As unsatisfying psychologically as it may to not respond in kind to the fatiguing, obnoxious Don Corleone of Korea, it is best to stick to the US alliance and plans for a conventional victory". (3.)
Again, the reason I'm against South Korea going nuclear is there are way more down side than up. Yes i will also agree the US can't protect Seoul, if conflict happens just because it to close to the boarder of North Korea. But South Korea would not be able to protect it as well. Even having there own nuke wouldn't protect them, nor will it solve the problems they already have with the North. It will just create just more problems.

South Korea will start a arms race, if they go nuclear. Japan and Taiwan, would strongly follow pursuit with South Korea. Again it will not solve the problems they already have, only increase the highly tension situation. It would increase war, even before they could actually get there own weapon. China will not stand for this. The reason North Korea is where it is today us because of China. North Korea is a buffer state for China. US can not use South Korea the way China did with the North. Mostly because China has way more power in this part of the region. If South Korea want peace and stability they can't not go nuclear. It pretty plan and simple.

You said you understand it would increase the tension, then why do it if it going to make matters worst? Doesn't make sense to me. You also said "peace only comes when we have a strong power". That us true, that's why you have the US. The US is that strong power. So, again no need for the South to have nuke. You also said "existence of nuclear weapons" make the world safer. Only if the right country have them. But even that is kind of flawed. Can't you see the huge military build up around the world. This doesn't make the world safer. Only good leaders make the world safer. You also said with South Korea having nuclear weapons, it will balance this region. Again just not true. It will make the North more likely to attack, and it would make china help them all that more likely. And if other countries follow South Korea, it will create a highly more tensions in this area. And make it more likely to create war even way before you get nuclear weapons.

South Korea have the US. SO, if the South go this direction it would make things worst not better. China would cut the South Korea economy, and make things very hard for the South. And let's don't forget North Korea will have a much higher chance of attacking way before the South actually have the weapon."""" "You are right. We never know whether they will launch it or not. But, this argument is just too extreme to be discussed". It not to extreme to discussed this. If the government are talking about this and a real possibility of it happening then it not off the table to hear this argument." It will only increase tension in this part of the region, not decreased tension. That's not what the South wants. This is why it would be a bad idea to go nuclear. Too many negative here to offset the positive.

I want to thank you for this topic. It was pretty fun and entertaining.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2 2 years ago
@Nd2400 I challenged you to a debate.
Posted by Nd2400 2 years ago
I Disagree with this assessment, SK going nuclear will increase tension with NK and China. It will not solve the problem, it will make it worst.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Vaarka 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD:

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