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Historical   Background

Korean is situated at the far eastern Asia, sharing boundaries with China and Japan. Korea’s historical and geographic importance has direct influenced on its post world war II fate, ensuring that it would become a point of contention between the Western and communist powers. The strategic location of Korea for the two major communist states, led almost inevitable to Soviet and Chinese support of North Korean aggression against Republic of Korea

The North Korea crisis, which essentially is a product of violation of nuclear Arms non proliferation treaty which the North Korea government signed with the United State, has it genesis in the cold war and post cold war politics as a result of the production of these Weapons of mass destruction by

North Korea

Korea was occupied by Soviet and American forces at the end of the World War II. Before the occupation by the Soviet Union and America, the nation had been part of the Japanese Empire since 1910. When Japanese resistance collapsed in the summer of 1945, the Soviet Red Army seized the opportunity to invade North Korea. Before this opportunity, Soviet Union had been making plans to invade Manchuria

In a similar manners, the United State troops, also invaded South Korea. The original mission of the US troops had been to invade the Japanese home. Islands Thus, it could be argued that the occupation of Korean Peninsular by both the USSR and United States of America was more by accident than by design. This properly accounts for the fact that Moscow and Washington were able to agree without any difficulty that the 38th parallel, which split the peninsular in half, would serve as line of demarcation pending the creation of a single Korea government and subsequent withdrawal of occupation forces.  It is instructive to note that the withdrawer of Soviet and America troops did take place in 1948-1949, however, there was no government or who would run the country. Thus, the country remained divided with the American supported Republic of Korea in control of the south by virtue of an election sanctioned by the United Nation, when the Soviet Supported Democratic Republic of Korea ruled the north peninsula, where elections did not hold. As it was the only thing unifying the country at this point was a civil war, with each side claiming to be the legitimate government and threatening the other with invasion. Thus, it evident that the ideological divided of the cold war era had taken root in the Korean peninsula with attendant implications for collective security and global peace.

 Conceptual Analysis

When a word is efficiently disambiguated such that its meaning is fairly precisely specified within an area of study and distinguished from whatever is not it, it becomes a concept. It was in this light that Giovani Sartori pointed out that “whatever we know is mediated by a language, if not by the language we known it.”

One word could describe more than one reality and several words could be used to describe one reality of this lack of precision, Aristotle has written that “not to have one meaning is to have no meaning at all” In view of this, it would be for clarity purpose, to explain the concept of nuclear arms, proliferation and security as it applies in this work.

Nuclear Arms

The Journal of military studies describes Nuclear Arms as explosive derives. That is destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fusion or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amount of matter, a modern thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than a thousand kilograms can produce an explosion comparable to the detonation of more than one billion kilograms of conventional high explosives. In another sense, because of the devastating power of nuclear arms, they are therefore described as weapons of mass destruction.

The United State Defense Studies sees nuclear arms weapons as capable of killing large number of humans or cause of great damage to manmade structures or the biosphere. It argued that the term nuclear predominantly arms covers several weapon type, including nuclear, biology, chemical (NBC) and radiological weapons.

In the military terms, nuclear arms include atomic and chemical warfare (ABC) and chemical biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) warfare.

The phrase nuclear arms were used in reference to nuclear weapons during the cold war. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and increasing tension between Middle East and the western powers, the term broadened to modern, more inclusive definition. It entered widespread usage in relation to the U.S-Led 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The first use of the term “nuclear arms” on record is by Cosmo Gordon Lang (Archbishop of Canterbury) in 1937 in reference to the aerial bombardment of Gurnica, Spain.

     Proliferation of Nuclear Arms

The Random House dictionary of Houghton Harcourt publishing describes “proliferation” as a rapid or excessive spread of increase, While Roget S. in the new Thesaurus Dictionary (2003) of American Heritage, seems to agree with the Random House in is concept of proliferation as a product of building up multiplication, development among synonyms.

The “Oxford pocket thesaurus of current English dictionary” described proliferation as the multiplication or spread, building up of arms  proliferation in this work refers to the spread of a nuclear technology and information, to nations which are not recognized as “nuclear weapons states by the treaty”(NPT). This can be horizontal- the acquisition of weapons system by states not previously possessing them or vertical when there is increase in the arsenals of those states already possessing this particular weapons.

Global Security

Freedom from danger or with threats to a nation’s ability to protect and develop itself promotes its cherished values and legitimate interest and enhanced the well being of its people.  .

Arnold Wolfers characterizes security as an “ambiguous abstract symbol which in its minimalist connation refers to the assurance of welfare. It is this concept of security that refers to the safety of the territory and population of a state and adopted for it preservation Iain Bellary contends that security amounts to relative freedom from conflict, confrontation, hostilities and war, coupled with the idea that “should war occur, defeat will not be acceptable consequences”. Bellary argued that the resources that guaranteed security include sophisticated weaponry and large army. It is in this light of Bellary’s analysis, that nuclear arms proliferation has evolved in states policies for the security (through powerful and mutually assumed destructive arms) of the states.


No period of human history has been free of war, whether of tribe or of nation against nation. The result o f many of these wars of the past amply recorded in the pages of history, but the issues which precipitated them are often buried with the bones of the victims. Today the team ‘war’ is used in many different ways. We have become accustomed to speaking of cold war, hot war, limited war, total war, conventional war and unconventional war. The communist referred to it as “imperialist wars” and “wars of national liberation. Most authority refers to war has a relatively narrow sense. According to the New English Dictionary it is a “hostile contention by means of armed forces, carried on between nations, states, or parties in the same nations or states or against an opposing party in the state.

Hoffman Nickerson, in encyclopedia Britannica, states that “war is the use of organized force between two human groups pursuing contradictory policies, each group seeking to impose its policy upon the other”. According to Karl von Clausewitz, “is only a part of political intercourse, therefore by no means an independent thing itself….war is nothing but a continuation of political intercourse with an admixture of other means. Quincy Wright defined war as “a violent contact of distinct but similar entitles” and in a narrower and more exact sense as which equally permit “the legal condition which equally permit two or more hostile groups to carry on a conflict by arm force”. He also distinguishes between war in the material sense and the war in the legal sense. In the material sense the boundaries between war and peace are not clearly demarcated; war in other words, “is a phenomenon distinguished not by qualitative but by quantitative differences.” In the legal sense, as defined in resent international law, war is a legal condition or state and there is a sharp line between war and peace.

In a seminar work a study of History Arbold Toynbee presented an arresting analysis of the trend of war in modern times. By the later part of the nineteen century, he argue, war “was manifestly in the wane, not so much because wars were less frequent….as because they were being conducted with more moderation.” The fundamental reason for this phenomenon, he believed was that war “had ceased to be a weapon of religious fanaticism and had not yet become an instrument of national fanaticism.”

However, it should be noted that various war has taken place which has led to the destruction of lives, property. These wars in includes the first world war, the second world war, Ethiopia in 1935-1939, the Korea war of 1950-1953, the Iraq war and many of the third world countries.

In this work, it must be recognized that war today has potentialities for destruction beyond the range of human comprehension. The coming of the Nuclear and the space age has usher in the age of overkill. President Kennedy predicted that “a full scale Nuclear exchange, lasting less than sixty minutes, could wipe out more than 300million Americas, Europeans and Russians, as well as and untold numbers elsewhere.” According to Dr. Albert Einstein, one of the pioneers of Nuclear age once remarked: “I do not know the weapons with which World war three will fought but I can assure you that World war four will be fought with sticks and stones.”

This conceptual analysis has therefore been premised upon broadened definitions as a totality of efforts to protect the international system from near collapse in the event of nuclear terror strike. This become more worrisome as defiant states such North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and India, etc, are n making efforts to either proliferates or enriched themselves with more powerful nuclear arms.

The Land and People of Korea

The Korea Peninsula is largely mountainous. The principal series of ranges, extend numbering along the east coast, rises(in the north east) to 2,744m at Mt. Paoktu  (Backdu)  the highest  peak in Korea.11  Most rivers are relatively short and many are un-navigable filled with rapids and water fails and important rivers. In addition, to the Yalu and Tumen, are the in uninhabited of the habited Islands, about half have a population of less than 100, the main Island group is in the climate of Korea ranges from dry and extremely cold winters in the north to almost tropical conditions in parts of the South.12

Many Koreans are Buddhists or Confucianism, although the people tend to be eclectic in their religious practices. Korean Confucianism for example has developed into more of ethical system than a religion and its influence is wide and pervasive of the various indigenous religions, Chorology (a native mixture of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taosm) is the most influential. South Korea has a large y was introduced in the late 19th century) the North Korea government has actively suppressed religion as contrary to Marxist belief. Korea is spoken in both countries, and English is widely taught in South Korean school.

The government of South Korea

South Korea is governed under the constitution of 1987. The president who is the head of state is elected through a single five –year term. The government is headed by a prime minister, who is appointed by the president. They have two chambers house, The Unicameral legislature consists of 299-seat and the National Assembly which involves 245-540 on a proportional basis for four years term. Administratively, South Korea is divided into nine (9) provinces and seven metropolitan cities.

The North  Korea                                                                                                                                                           

North Korea is governed under the constitution of 1972. The president is the head of state. The title of the president was reserved for Kim II Sung after his death. The chairman of the National Defence Commission (NDC) is now regarded as the nation’s highest administrative office.

The prime minister who is the head of government is elected unopposed by the supreme people’s Assembly. The Unicameral legislature consists of 687-seat supreme people’s Assembly, whose members are popularly elected to five- year terms. The North Korea is ruled by the communist party which is known as the Korea workers party. The ruling party approves list of candidates who are elected without opposition. Administratively, North Korea is divided into nine provinces and four municipalities.

Socio-Economy History

Korea once has a large timber resource. In the North reforestation and conservation programs have helped reverse the effects of excessive cutting during the Japanese occupation (1910-45) forest in the South were depleted as a result of illegal cutting after 1945 and damage during the Korea war (1950-1953) but reforestation programs have helped to remedy the loss

Korea has great mineral resource, most of which are concentrated in the North. The  peninsula has five(5) major minerals, which are gold, Iron, Ore, Coal, Tungsten and graphite, only tungsten and Amorphous graphite are found in the South has only 10 percent of the peninsula’s rich coal and Iron deposits. Its minerals are widely scattered and mining operations are generally small in scale, Tungstem is an important export item. In the North, modern mining methods have been instituted, and minerals and metal account for significant portion of the country’s export revenue. North Korea is rich in Iron and Coal and has 200 different minerals which are economic value. Its has produced other minerals like lead, Zinc, Copper, Uranium, Monganesa, Gold, Silver and Tungestem, due to the mountainous and rocky terrain, less than 20percent of Korea land is arable. Rice is their chief crop with wet paddy fields constituting about half of the coats, reclaiming tidal areas and river valleys, and Barley, Wheat, Corn, Soya beans, and Grains Sorghum are also extensively cultivated. Other crops include Potatoes, Pulse, Cotton, Tobacco, Vegetables etc.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are to:-

discus the early history of Korea

examine the concept of nuclear race and proliferation in world politics.

discus the causes and consequence of Korea involvement in nuclear race.

examine the impact of nuclear arms and proliferation in global security with emphasis on North Korea.

Scope of the Study

The study focuses on the description of Korea and its people, origin, political, organization, geographic and intellectual development

It touches on theoretical explanation of North Korea quest for nuclear arms. It also analyses the international politics of nuclear arms and role of the super powers.

In addition, the study covers the evaluation of nuclear arms and effects of Proliferation.  It emphasizes on nuclear arms proliferation,   in analyzing   the North Korea crisis, the concept of nuclear, race and proliferation in world politics. It also touches on Korea involvement in nuclear. r race, the impact of nuclear arms and proliferation in global security with emphasis on Korea

Literature Review

Several scholars have analyzed the North Korean nuclear issue. Fore stance Selig Harrison’s Korean Endgame provides a detailed description of the negotiations tenement hat led to the Korea- US agreements’ creation and analysis regarding its implementation through 2001, the first year of president Bush’s administration. His analysis ends with remarks regarding the viability of agreement and prospect for a broader scope of security cooperation between the DPRK and US, South Korea and Japan.

Marcus Noland’s analysis in Avoiding the Apocalypse: the future of the Two Koreas provides a historical and analysis to the nuclear arms proliferation and Security and the North Korea state. Supply very useful technical details regarding North Korea’s nuclear energy program, while covering a wide range of opinions over the design and utility of nuclear arms.

          Micheal Mazar, in North Korea and the Bomb, provides an in-depth discussion of the circumstance that led to the nuclear arms crisis of 1993, and the subsequent negotiations between US and DPRK, his analysis offers a unique discussion of the nuclear crisis, focusing on the nuclear arms proliferation and security as well as the North / US agreement’s implication for the non- proliferation states. Finally, for an institutional perspective  on nuclear arms proliferation and global security, the most prominent work is Leon V. Sigal’s Disarming strangers: Nuclear Diploma sight into they with North Korea, which  offers a detailed comparative analysis of the north Korea nuclear negotiation under  president George H.W Bush and his successor, president Bill Clinton.Broadly speaking, he argues that the US policy failure in dealing with North Korea was due in large part to their employment of coercive diplomacy, and that the subsequent success in negotiating the agreement and stopping the North Korea nuclear program was a result of cooperation.

While these sources provide significant insight  into the nuclear arms proliferation, global security and steps to stop nuclear arms in North Korea, they all fall short of covering the agreement in its entirety, with Sigal’s analysis ending 1994, Mazar’s in 1995, Noland’s analysis ending in 1999,and Harrison’s in 2001. Furthermore, Harrison’s Korean Endgame  and Noland’s Avoiding the Apocalypse Couch their analysis of the nuclear arms proliferation and global security   as well as the  worth the broads context of US-DRPK relations unfortunately, more recent works, such as Michael O’ Hanlon and Mike Mochizuki’scrisis on the Korea Peninsula and Victor Cha and David Kang’s Nuclear North Korea, focus less on why the agreement between US-DRPK failed and more on the direction of future policy in try to solve the 2002 North Korean nuclear crisis, while going critical. The first North Korean nuclear crisis by Joel’ Wit, Daniel B, Pone man and Robert L. Gallucci focuses on the negotiation that produced the agreement between the US-DRPK on the eradication of nuclear arms production.Therefore, this Research attempts to analysis the nuclear arms proliferation and global security by analyzing the North Korea nuclear crisis.

Significant of the Study

The significance of the study has to do with anticipated importance; role and value of the out come of a successful research.

This study is very beneficial to the student researcher, because her knowledge of nuclear arms proliferation and global security is enriched. The supervisor also stands to benefit, more importantly, the study will bridge the gap in our knowledge of the Nuclear Arms proliferation and global security, North and South Korean.

In addition, it will complete other works in military studies, international relations both in Nigeria and the world at large.

Also, the study will be useful for students carrying out similar research on nuclear arms and global security in Nigeria. Finally it will encourage more researchers in international relations.

Research Methodology

The research had resorted to conceptual and theoretical analysis method to give detailed report about nuclear arms proliferation and global security: analysis of North Korea crisis. The method includes careful collection of data, analysis and interpretation of data.

The method could be divided into two, the oral interview (primary source) and the secondary sources.

The oral interviews were conducted in two places Lagos and Ijebu-ode (Tai Solarin University of Education department of History and Diplomatic Studies), one person in Tai Solarin University of Education and two in Lagos who are from different fields were interviewed. It was also conducted and carried out in English Language. Guided and open questions were asked. They respondent in their office and at home as the case demanded. Their responses were jotted for further processes.

Secondary Sources

This information in this study includes books, Journal, war films, which was source and acquired from university libraries. Finally, the evidence oral and secondary source were compared, analyzed and interpreted before the commencement of writing this method has enhanced the quality of this study.

Research Questions

  1. Nuclear weapons are the most destructive technology ever developed.
  2. Why are nations proliferating nuclear weapons production?
  3. Why North Korea is involved nuclear arms production?
  4. Does the division of Korea have influence in North Korea proliferation of weapons of mass destruction?
  5. How did North Korea perceived their own action why testing launching their nuclear technology?

Vi.     Who actually has the right to posses’ nuclear weapons?

Vii.    Why was Iraq attack?

Viii.  What are the roles of the super powers in nuclear arms proliferation?

  1. What are the harms, nuclear weapons have done to a mankind?
  2. Can the world stop the production of nuclear weapons C. Cody Edward, North Korea: In Brief (Moscow: Literature, 2000), p.6

V.P. Tkachenko, Korean Peninsua  and  Russian  Interest. ( Moscow: Vostochnaya Literature, 2000) P.19

Aristotle, “Metaphysica”, W.D. Ross (ed.). The works of Aristotle, Vol. VIII, (Oxford: The Claredon Press , 1928), 10006bp.5

 K. Lee lerner, “Nuclear Arms Proliferation” hrrp://en.wikipedia.org/nucleararmsproliferation

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research


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