What Role to Play? Assessing the Republic of Korea’s Future Nuclear Diplomacy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter focuses on the Republic of Korea's security approach to nuclear activity. It seeks to understand what type of security policies and position Seoul has taken when it comes to nuclear weapons, how this position has evolved over time, and especially what role South Korea want and can play to ensure its own security. The paper presents an in-depth analysis of South Korean roles and attitudes using Holsti's work on role conception and prescription. The analysis focuses three processes: North Korea nuclear tests, South Korean presidential elections, and the Six-Party Talks process. Results suggest that South Korea is no longer comfortable with its protectee role vis-à-vis the United States, is considering its own regional leadership, and is also considering whether or not it should develop its own nuclear capabilities. Ultimately, South Korea is both uncomfortable with the United States and North Korea's nuclear capabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitics, International Relations and Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781003392569
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2023


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