Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is facing calls from within his own ruling Liberal Democrats for Japan to arm itself with nuclear weapons. Abe has previously said this would be out of the question. It would mean the only country in the world that has suffered an atomic strike, and had renounced ever obtaining nuclear weapons, abandoning a principle that has served as a world symbol for peace for over 60 years.
Abe’s party research council boss Shoichi Nakagawa made the call, adding he believed Japan would not go nuclear, but that a debate had to be held.
In the streets of Tokyo, it seems UN action is enough, for now.
“North Korea has been warned so many times by the UN, so its only natural that such action has been taken and we are happy that sanctions have been imposed so far”, said one man.
“North Korea has gone ahead and done what it has been told not to do, so I think that it has itself to blame for the sanctions”, added a woman.
Feelings are running far higher in South Korea. The capital Seoul is seeing demonstrations and protests, but it is not all one-way. People are also worried that putting too much pressure on the North might tip it into overreaction.
If that happened they know they would be the first to suffer, as millions of South Koreans live within artillery range of the North’s guns.
The US has some 30 000 troops on the border, and instead of normally refusing to comment on any nuclear weapons deployment, says there are no US nuclear weapons on Korean soil.