The peninsula remained the epicentre of the cold war in East Asia. It continued to be the main theatre of tension, even after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The post 9/11 period could not minimize its importance in regional and global affairs.The peninsula is surrounded by water on three sides. The Yellow Sea, Japan Sea, Strait of Korea, the Korea Bay and the Strait of Cheju touch the peninsula. After World War-II, cold war got a foot in global politics. Consequently, the peninsula was divided into North Korea and South Korea. The Sea of Japan connects Japan with East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The East China Sea is important for Japan for its oil etc and imports from the Middle East. Thus, safe sale of ships carrying natural resources is in the interest of Japan and other countries.The US President, Dwight Eisenhower, while speaking to the UN General Assembly, urged the world to use ‘Atom for Peace’. He emphasized on the peaceful use of atoms and nuclear programs for nonmilitary purposes. A few countries started their nuclear programs around 1950. North Korea also initiated its nuclear program by establishing a Research Institute on Nuclear Physics in 1955. A Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Soviet Union and North Korea in the subsequent year. Working on peaceful use of nuclear energy began in 1960s. In 1980s, North Korea made efforts to produce nuclear weapons. South Korea also initiated efforts for nuclear weapons in 1970s; however, it gave up its program in this regard. Thus, only North Korea pursued its nuclear program.North Korea’s nuclear program is neither similar to the US, Russian Federation (former Soviet Union) and other declared nuclear powers nor like the non signatory of NPT nuclear countries like Pakistan and India. The Korean peninsula has neither a chain reaction of defence like in the region of South Asia nor is in the race of getting supremacy in the world like the US and other countries. On excuse of its defence against China, the most populated country of South Asia, India initiated the nuclear programme. Pakistan was compelled to go for nuclear weapon development due to Indian policy and attitude towards its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. The nuclear explosion in 1974 and 1998, tilted the balance of power in favour of India in the region. Thus, conventional weapons as deterrents lost their importance. Having no other option, Pakistan decided to also have a means of creating deterrence in the region of South Asia and conducted an atomic explosion in 1998.The US forces remained stationed on Japan’s land even after 1952. It is said that about forty seven thousands US soldiers are stationed in Japan. Majority of the force is located in Okinawa. Japan considers the presence of US forces as its main defence shield against an attack from North KoreaNorth Korea and Japan are not on friendly terms. In 2017, North Korea fired a Missile which flew over Hokkaido, an island located in the north of Japan. It increased tension between Japan and North Korea. There are certain other factors which caused stress between the two countries.Firstly, the US occupation of Japan came to an end in 1952. However, it emerged as an ally, whose defence is the responsibility of the US. Soon after World War II, North Korea joined the Communist camp, which further cause a rift between the countries.Secondly, the Korean War lasted from 1950 to 1953. Japan assured the US to provide required facilities and services. The Soviet Union was also involved in the Korean War.Thirdly, the US forces remained stationed on Japan’s land even after 1952. It is said that about forty seven thousands US soldiers are stationed in Japan. Majority of the force is located in Okinawa. Japan considers the presence of US forces as its main defence shield against an attack from North Korea.Fourthly, North Korea also sees the US forces as a threat to it. Probably, this, including other factors, gave birth to the nuclear program of North Korea.Fifthly, the US has a military base in South Korea. North Korea views such presence as a threat to it. The US is far ahead on North Korea in war technology, both conventional and nonconventional. Thus, the country found refuge in nuclear weapon technology. It further aggravated the situation between the US, Japan and North Korea.Lastly, the abduction of Japanese citizens is also a source of tension between the two countries. Japan claims that seventeen kidnappees have been identified who are present in North Korea.Peace on the peninsula and in the regions located around it, is in the interest of all countries. Nuclear weapons create deterrence. However, use of such weapons causes havoc and leads to catastrophe as experienced in 1945, August 6 and 9. Sense of security among the countries may mitigate the tension on the peninsula and around it.The writer is an author and has a doctorate in Political SciencePublished in Daily Times, October 28th 2018.