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Public clamor to redeploy tactical nukes grows louder

Sept 07,2017
A group of former lawmakers joined a growing chorus of calls on Wednesday for the Moon Jae-in government to seek the redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear arms to counter North Korea’s escalating threats. The Parliamentarians’ Society of the Republic of Korea made the demand, stressing that Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear tests have reaffirmed that dialogue is not an effective method to address the decades-old nuclear standoff.

Since the North’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date Sunday, calls have surged for Seoul to explore a nuclear option, including the redeployment of tactical nukes that were withdrawn from the Korean Peninsula in the early 1990s.

“(The government) has to immediately bring in U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to the peninsula and push for an independent nuclear armament strategy to safeguard the Republic of Korea even in the worst case,” the group said in a statement. “The U.S. strategic military assets have to be stationed on the peninsula on a permanent basis to secure peace in Northeast Asia and prepare for war,” it added.

The call for the redeployment of tactical nukes is in line with the main opposition Liberty Korea Party’s (LKP) stance. The party has demanded Seoul push for a “nuclear balance of power” with Pyongyang, which it argues now enjoys a “nuclear monopoly.”

Earlier in the day, the LKP formed a 16-member panel to deal with the security crisis. Jun Hee-kyung, a party spokeswoman, said the panel was established due to the party’s concerns about Moon’s security policy.

Yonhap