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With the North ramping up provocations, recent surveys show that around 70% of South Koreans support the country developing its own nuclear weapons.   © Illustration by Hiroko Aida
Asia Insight

South Korea's nuclear option: Calls grow for weapon development

More lawmakers, voters see need for homegrown program as North's threat grows

STEVEN BOROWIEC, Contributing writer | South Korea

GUNSAN, South Korea -- For 33 years until 1991, the U.S. quietly stowed nuclear warheads at its Air Force base in Gunsan, a small city on the western coast of South Korea across the Yellow Sea from China.

Back then, North Korea had no nuclear weapons and the warheads were here as demonstration of the superiority of America's military power and its commitment to defending its ally.

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