South Korea Pledges Not to Deploy Tactical Nuclear Weapon
14:02 21.09.2017(updated 16:58 21.09.2017)
According to a statement published by the South Korean Foreign Ministry's website, the country won't deploy any tactical nuclear weapon on the Korean peninsula.
BEIJING (Sputnik) – South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha reiterated Thursday the country's stance on the North Korean crisis at a meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, saying that Seoul would not deploy a tactical nuclear weapon on the Korean peninsula.
"South Korea is making every effort to sort out the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula and does not want a war on the peninsula to erupt again. South Korea stands for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and will firmly stick to its commitment not to deploy a tactical nuclear weapon on the peninsula again," Kang said in a statement, published on the South Korean Foreign Ministry's website.
The Chinese foreign minister confirmed that the issue of denuclearization remained on top of Beijing's agenda.
The ministers held their meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
In August, South Korean media reported, citing a senior government official on condition of anonymity, that Defense Minister Song Young-moo raised the issue of US tactical nuclear weapons redeployment with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis during their meeting in Washington. The claims were later refuted by another South Korean official.
US tactical nuclear weapons were removed from the country in late 1991 as part of Seoul's denuclearization agreement with Pyongyang.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his turn, said that South Korea should renounce the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) on its territory as it hindered China's strategic interests in the security field.
"China understands South Korea's necessity to ensure its national security, however, it strongly opposes the installation of THAAD missile defense systems in the country as it directly undermines China's strategic interests in the security field," Wang was quoted as saying in a Chinese Foreign Ministry's statement.
Wang called on Seoul to resolve this problem as soon as possible as the issue constituted a stumbling block in the two countries' bilateral relations.
Amid escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula due to Pyongyang's determined development of its nuclear arms program, the United States and South Korea view the deployment of the THAAD system as an important military deterrence measure against a potential nuclear strike from North Korea.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula has become aggravated in recent months due to Pyongyang's missile launches and nuclear tests, all conducted in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. The most recent test was conducted on Friday, when North Korea launched a ballistic missile, which flew over Japan before falling into the northern Pacific some 20 minutes after the launch.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|