Canada, France, U.S. Cooperated to Halt Seoul's Nuclear Ambitions

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tags: nuclear weapons

The Ford administration had to use a combination of approaches to keep South Korea’s Park dictatorship from going forward with a suspected nuclear weapons program in the mid-1970s, according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project.

The U.S. effort required strong bilateral political pressure, along with Canadian and French government collaboration, to stop Seoul from quietly acquiring a reprocessing plant that could have been used to produce weapons grade plutonium.

Even Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who initially may have doubted whether Seoul had a weapons program in mind, praised the outcome, agreeing with Canadian Foreign Minister Alan MacEachen that the allies had delivered a “knockout blow” against the South Korean nuclear plans.

Read entire article at National Security Archive at GW

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