Pros and Cons to using the Atomic Bomb

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Pros and Cons to using the Atomic Bomb


  • At this point in World War 2, mass killing had become almost acceptable due to the enormous amount of casualties

  • It would strike fear in the Nazis and Soviet

  • Assured complete surrender of the Japanese

  • The Japanese had refused to surrender and instead wanted to reach a peace agreement in which the Japanese would be able to rebuild their army and maybe attack again later

  • The U.S. thought that Japan deserved punishment for the acts that they committed toward China, for example the Rape of Nanking where hundreds of thousands of Chinese were killed


  • Could be seen as immoral

  • It would kill thousands of innocent lives

  • Some thought that Japan’s defeat was inevitable and it could be found without the use of this weapon

  • Using this weapon would remove Americans “clean record”

  • Other alternatives were not tried before the use of the atom bomb

  • Although Japan would not accept defeat, they had started trying to talk to U.S. officials about peace

North Korea and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Background Information

  • In 2003 North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty due to their intentions try and create nuclear weapons

  • This treaty was a pact among most countries that said that no making or research of nuclear weapons would be attempted

North Korea’s Current Status

  • In April of 2009 North Korea was announced as a fully fledged nuclear power due their first successful test

  • Since April they have now made a total of six to eight nuclear weapons

Possible Consequences

  • The US Government thinks that North Korea becoming a nuclear power threatens the peace of the world

  • They also think that if their leader Pyongyang is not dealt with correctly then this “threat” could lead to nuclear war


  • The North Korean Government claims that they are just building up their own defense

  • Critics of the US government think that the US is being hypocritical due to the fact that the US has many more nuclear weapons than any other country in the world

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you think that the US was right in setting off the two atomic bombs?

  2. Do you think that the US has the right to intervene with North Korean projects to make nuclear weapons?

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