September 05, 2017 09:18
Defense Minister Song Young-moo told a parliamentary session on Monday that he is "willing to consider" asking the U.S. to redeploy nuclear weapons in South Korea.
The remarks came after North Korea tested a powerful nuclear bomb on Sunday.
Asked by independent lawmaker Lee Jung-hyun whether the government could ask the U.S. to re-deploy tactical nuclear weapons here, Song said Seoul is "willing to consider it."
Asked by People's Party floor leader Kim Dong-cheol whether that could prompt China, North Korea's sole ally, to step up pressure on the North to scrap its nuclear weapons, Song said it "could be an option."
Democratic Party lawmaker Rhee Cheol-hee advised Song to be more careful in what he is saying since the Moon administration is committed to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
But Song said, "North Korea's nuclear weapons now pose a grave threat, so I will consider various options."
In closing comments he added, "e need to consider" the re-deployment of U.S. tactical nukes "from the perspective of changing the entire game plan in dealing with the North Korean nuclear threat. I have realized that we could make strong demands to the U.S."
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