La Corée du Sud et le nucléaire

SÉOUL – Les dirigeants sud-coréens ont récemment réalisé qu’il était probable que les États-Unis tentent de les empêcher d’enrichir de l’uranium et d’étendre la gamme de missiles du pays, plutôt que de laisser ces questions à l’arrière-plan diplomatique. En effet, de récents pourparlers, qui ont vu les États-Unis ignorer les efforts sud-coréens de complément du très sensible Accord de coopération nucléaire entre États-Unis et Corée du Sud, qui expirera en mars 2014, suggèrent qu’il existerait des raisons d’être profondément inquiets quant à l’avenir de l’alliance.

Les négociateurs américains – réticents instigateurs d’une responsabilité accrue de la Corée du Sud en matière d’énergie atomique – demeurent fermement opposés aux efforts sud-coréens d’amélioration des capacités défensives du pays, ainsi qu’aux avancées de sa politique énergétique, en dépit de possibles avantages stratégiques. Toutefois, les experts américains de la non-prolifération ne prévoient aucune progression des efforts de la Corée du Sud dans l’obtention d’un soutien à l’égard de ses politiques privilégiées tant que les États-Unis ne bénéficieront pas de leviers plus significatifs.

Cette impasse ne date pas d’hier. Les négociations conduites entre les deux pays en matière nucléaire se sont souvent caractérisées par une faible communication et par un manque de compréhension. Tandis que les responsables sud-coréens expriment rarement en public le fond de leur pensée, il est largement considéré que les dirigeants politiques américains sont peu enclins à se réconcilier aujourd’hui avec le gouvernement de la Corée du Sud – préférant étouffer les attentes de plus en plus prononcées de la part des Sud-coréens.

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