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    US-Korea Nuclear Roundtable
    South Korea’s Nonproliferation Culture and its Implications for the US-ROK 123 Agreement
    November 14, 2014

    Although 2013 public opinion polls in the ROK regarding nuclear weapons development came as a surprise to many, further examination of survey studies over the past two decades reveal declining public support for a tit-for-tat strategy in response to North Korea’s nuclear activities. Moreover, among opinion leaders, experts, and academics in Korea who fully understand the international ramifications of the country’s nuclear policy, there is even stronger support to remain fully committed to global norms and the nonproliferation regime. Nevertheless, the ROK nuclear policy community is also strongly supportive of a revised US-ROK civil nuclear cooperation agreement that allows Korea greater freedom to pursue innovative technical approaches so that it can address its waste management and energy security concerns; given the typical length of US 123 agreements, a new US-Korea 123 should ideally avoid placing unnecessary delays and constraints on Korea’s advanced nuclear energy technology R&D plans.