South Korea rules out redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons
Following President Biden's visit to the country, Seoul threatens to turn to the US in the event of a "Pyongyang attack".
With North Korea increasing its missile and nuclear test activity, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol denied the prospect of redeploying nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula on Monday.
Yoon told CNN that if Pyongyang launched an attack on South Korea, Seoul would entirely rely on US help, including missile defense and its "nuclear umbrella". Simultaneously, Yoon ruled out "redeploying tactical nuclear weapons on the [Korean] Peninsula."
He also claimed that the increased military drills agreed upon with US President Joe Biden during his visit to South Korea on Saturday will serve strictly "defensive purposes and will not be directed at North Korea."
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"I do not want North Korea to collapse; I want North Korea to prosper alongside South Korea. I do not believe that enhancing [North Korea's] nuclear capability is helpful and conducive to maintaining international peace and shared prosperity," Yoon claimed.
After signing a unified anti-nuclear proclamation in 1992, North Korea remained skeptical of US nuclear weapons being completely withdrawn from the Korean Peninsula and embarked on the path of nuclear development. In the light of continuing confrontation with Washington and Seoul, all the attempts to force Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program failed, and North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006.
The DPRK has recently increased weapons testing to increase its deterrence capabilities, amid fears of US interference and influence growing in the region.
"Only when one is equipped with the formidable striking capabilities, overwhelming military power that cannot be stopped by anyone, one can prevent a war, guarantee the security of the country and contain and put under control all threats and blackmails by the imperialists," Kim Jong-un said in late March.