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Time to redeploy tactical nukes

Sept 08,2017
In the face of a hydrogen bomb, conventional weapons are literally useless. Nevertheless, we welcome President Moon Jae-in’s achievement in his telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump to lift the 500-kilogram (1,102-pound) restriction on the payload of our missiles. If he had also extended the 800-kilometer missile range limit, it could have been much better. But we hope President Moon gets even better results next time than that.

In a sense, it is ironic that a left-leaning president accomplished something that even conservative governments was not able to — or worse, have not tried to — achieve in the past. The United States call South Korea as one of their core allies, but it unfortunately seems to try to meddle in too many military issues, including the range and payloads of our ballistic missiles, at critical moments like this.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is playing an unprecedentedly dangerous game with nuclear and missile tests. I was really embarrassed to see the ruling Democratic Party’s Chair Choo Mi-ae make the innocent and naïve argument during her speech at the opening session of the National Assembly last Friday that South Korea needs to send a special envoy to North Korea and the U.S. at the same time.

Now is not the time for talk, but the time to join international sanctions against the rogue state across the border. South Korea must side with Washington and Tokyo to cooperate and deal effectively with the North Korean nuclear crisis.

As a relatively easy way to prevent Kim Jong-un from taking 50 million South Koreans as hostages, our government must persuade the U.S government and the Congress to approve of redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons which Uncle Sam withdrew from South Korea at the end of 1991. That is the best way to keep the so-called “balance of terror” in the Korean Peninsula.

*Senior at Underwood International College, Yonsei University

Yee Jae-eun