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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

South Korea will not develop or own nukes: President Moon

Iran Press TV

Wed Nov 1, 2017 06:50AM

South Korea's president says his country will never "develop or own" atomic weapons but will also never recognize North Korea as a nuclear state.

"A push by North Korea to become a nuclear state cannot be accepted or tolerated," said President Moon Jae-in in an address to the South Korean parliament on Wednesday.

"We also will not develop or own nuclear" arms, he said.

Moon also repeated his stance that the United States would have to obtain South Korea's prior approval before launching any military action against North Korea.

"There should be no military action on the peninsula without our prior consent," he said. "We will not repeat the tragic history like colonization and division during which the fate of our nation was determined regardless of our will."

That position is based on South Korea's knowledge of the fact that any US military action against the North would elicit massive North Korean military fire on South Korea as retaliation.

Moon said Seoul would continue to work for peace.

He also said that Seoul's approach was "based on the joint declaration to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula declared by both Koreas" in 1992.

China to work to bring about denuclearization

Meanwhile, China announced it would work with Seoul to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a Wednesday statement that Beijing and Seoul would continue to use diplomatic means to address the tensions with North Korea.

On Tuesday, Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's representative for former nuclear talks with North Korea, had met with his Chinese counterpart, Kong Xuanyou. During that meeting, the two sides discussed North Korea as well as means to normalize Seoul-Beijing ties, strained by South Korea's deployment of a US missile system.

Seoul said both sides had agreed to continue close cooperation to restart denuclearization talks.

Tensions have been running high over North Korea's missile and nuclear programs. The United States, which has substantial military presence in the region, has threatened the North with military action numerous times. Pyongyang, too, has issued its own threats.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump is due to visit Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines during his first Asia trip this month. Talks on North Korea are expected to dominate Trump's tour of the region.

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