This book provides a comprehensive assessment of the role of nuclear weapons in Asia since 1945, its implications for regional and global security, and the conditions under which more Asian countries might seek to acquire a nuclear capability in the future.
It focuses in particular on understanding the nuclear proliferation networks that enabled small and middle ranking powers such as Pakistan and North Korea to pursue nuclear weapons programs.
Three networks are included: the Soviet network which allowed for the proliferation of nuclear technologies to India, and also to North Koreathe Chinese network which provided missile technology to North Korea, and nuclear technology to Pakistanthe A.Q.
Khan network which transferred nuclear weapons technology from Pakistan to North Korea, and missile technology from North Korea to Pakistan.
Chung Min Lee considers the pressures upon other Asian powers to go nuclear, particularly Japan and South Korea as a response to the North Korea nuclear program, and Taiwan as a response to China; the role of key forces including the rise of new asymmetrical military capabilities in Asian militaries, and the complex interplay between failing states, weapons of mass destruction and transnational terror groups.