A new survey has found that a robust majority strongly backs such an arsenal citing growing China threat.
The poll, released on Tuesday by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, found that majority of South Koreans — 56 per cent — said China will pose the biggest threat to the country, while just 22 per cent said it would be North Korea.
The researchers also found that 71 per cent of the South Koreans surveyed favor Seoul developing its own nuclear weapons, while 56 per cent support a deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in the country.
However, when asked to choose between the two options, 67 per cent backed a domestic arsenal, compared with just 9 per cent who supported a U.S. deployment, highlighting a clear preference and desire for greater control over any deployment.
What’s more, public support for both a domestic arsenal and a U.S. deployment appears strong even in the face of potential negative repercussions for South Korea’s relations with China, its economic security, its alliance with the U.S. and hopes for North Korea’s denuclearisation.