The National Interest website recently published an analysis of South Africa‘s voluntary abandonment of nuclear weapons by Robert Farley, a senior lecturer at the University of Kentucky.
According to the article, the Republic of South Africa is the only country in the world to build a nuclear weapons program, then abandon the program on its own when domestic and international conditions change. Why did South Africa decide to build a nuclear arsenal?
How does the country build a nuclear arsenal? Why did the country decide to abandon nuclear weapons? The answer is largely unclear whether that answer may be a lesson for the future of nuclear weapons development on the Korean Peninsula and elsewhere today and in the future.
The Republic of South Africa seeks nuclear weapons for familiar reasons. Although the South African nation is capable of outperforming any of its regional rivals, Pretoria fears this advantage may diminish over time.
The South African government also recognizes that its widespread disdain for its racist regime can prevent Western countries from assisting in any serious confrontation against the Soviet Union. or former allies.
Nuclear weapons will provide not only a direct weapon to deal with a military attack against South Africa, but also a means to take advantage of Western diplomatic and military support during the crisis. South Africa can extract uranium on its territory and enrich uranium for domestic facilities.
With a modern industrial economy and access to science and technology research facilities in the US and Europe, South Africa can easily develop the technical expertise needed to make weapons. The South African government does not worry too much about the pursuit of nuclear weapons that could make it an isolated nation.
In general, South Africa has built six types of uranium nuclear weapons. These devices are too large and cannot fit any type of missile South Africa currently has. And so they will be supplied to British bombers like Electric Canberra or Blackburn Buccaneer.