Much of this work derives from support by the Australia–Korea Foundation, and draws on papers delivered at Nautilus Institute Research Workshop on “Strong Connections: Australia–Korea Strategic Futures and Strengthened Civil Society Policy Relations,” in Seoul (15–16 June 2010), at <http://www.nautilus.org/projects/akf-connections/australia-korea-strategic-futures> (searched date: 21 December 2010).
Beyond the Nuclear Umbrella: Re-thinking the Theory and Practice of Nuclear Extended Deterrence in East Asia and the Pacific
Article first published online: 3 APR 2011
© 2011 Center for International Studies, Inha University
Special Issue: Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in Northeast Asia
Volume 26, Issue 1, pages 5–21, April 2011
How to Cite
Tanter, R. and Hayes, P. (2011), Beyond the Nuclear Umbrella: Re-thinking the Theory and Practice of Nuclear Extended Deterrence in East Asia and the Pacific. Pacific Focus, 26: 5–21. doi: 10.1111/j.1976-5118.2011.01053.x
- Issue published online: 3 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 3 APR 2011
- East Asia;
- nuclear extended deterrence;
- nuclear-weapon-free zone;
This paper provides an overview of the Nautilus Institute's exploration of two inter-linked but highly contested aspects of the strategic nuclear situation on the Korean peninsula: the complexity and uncertainty associated with US assurances of nuclear extended deterrence to South Korea (and Japan), and the potential contribution of a nuclear-weapon-free zone to shifting the current impasse concerning North Korean nuclear weapons. The theoretical inquiry into the current state of nuclear extended deterrence is followed by an examination of the necessity, viability and desirability of reformed versions of nuclear extended deterrence (such as collective deterrence), and of three conceivable generic alternatives to reliance upon nuclear extended deterrence: namely nuclear rejection, nuclear recession, and conventional deterrence (possibly combined with existential nuclear deterrence). A bilateral nuclear-weapon-free zone, with the door held open to North Korea to join at a later stage, would act as a circuit-breaker in the stalemated nuclear confrontation; prefigure a US negative security guarantee to North Korea in a future rapprochement; and reduce ongoing regional anxieties by locking both South Korea and Japan into a legally binding non-nuclear security posture.