The government has asked the U.S. to share tactical nuclear weapons in order to boost its defenses against North Korea.
A high-ranking government official said on Wednesday, "If North Korea pushes ahead with a seventh nuclear test, we will face a whole new level of threat. We are discussing with the U.S. ways to radically strengthen the U.S.' extended deterrence to fit the changed security situation on the Korean Peninsula."
The government has in mind the rotational deployment of strategic U.S. military assets near the Korean Peninsula such as an aircraft carrier group equipped with nuclear weapons or nuclear-powered submarines.
One security official here said, "What's being discussed is a [South] Korean-style nuclear sharing scheme that could avoid triggering protests from neighboring countries and a regional nuclear arms buildup."
But the White House and U.S. State Department have not commented on the issue and referred reporters to the South Korean government for comments.
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