As said a few times before, should America officially abandon it, Asia would likely move under a Chinese hegemonic umbrella as going to war with China isn’t wished. Asian nations already sense the lack of will from America and realize it’s not as dependable as it should be.
South Korea would have to think about developing its own nuclear weapons for self-defense if the United States removes its “nuclear umbrella” protection for the Asian ally, the incoming commander of U.S. Forces Korea said Tuesday.
Gen. Vincent Brooks, nominated to succeed Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti as USFK commander, made the remark during a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing, stressing that it’s very important for the U.S. to provide a nuclear umbrella or extended deterrent to the South.
“I think they would have to contemplate that (nuclear armament) to maintain their own security. That question would likely come up,” Brooks said in response to a question from Sen. John McCain whether Seoul would be motivated to develop nuclear capability if the U.S. doesn’t provide nuclear protection.
Brooks said the U.S. is looking for a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula. He said that the U.S. nuclear umbrella could be withdrawn if “we don’t have a nuclear hazard, but we’re not at that time now and nor will we be in the near future.”
“The Republic of Korea is carrying a significant load and is dedicated to our presence there,” he said, adding that the Asian ally is “paying about 50 percent of our personnel cost of being there,” which amounts to some US$880 million last year, and the share goes up according to inflation every year.
Brooks also said that South Korea is funding most of the cost for a massive $10.8 billion project to relocate American troops further south, which he called the “largest DOD (Department of Defense) construction project we have anywhere in the world.”
“They carry 92 percent of that, 92 cents on a dollar,” Brooks said.
Full article: Removal of US nuclear umbrella would lead Seoul to nuclear armament: USFK (The Korea Times)