| 28 May 2024, Tuesday |

‘US should consider deploying nuclear weapons in South Korea’

The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has suggested that Washington should consider the deployment of nuclear weapons in South Korea in the future amid growing tensions in the region, local media said on Thursday.

(CSIS) has also recommended that the US and South Korea begin holding tabletop exercises to that end, Yonhap News Agency reported.

“The allies should consider tabletop planning exercises for the possible redeployment of US nuclear weapons to South Korea,” the agency said, citing the latest CSIS report.

“This planning should be explicitly pre-decisional. The timeline and scope of weapons … should be left deliberately ambiguous,” it added.

The report comes after South Korea said last week that Washington and Seoul intend to hold tabletop joint military exercises next month in the scenario that North Korea uses a nuclear weapon.

Later, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder vowed that the US remains committed to defending South Korea in case of any “aggression” from North Korea as Seoul falls under the extended deterrence umbrella.

During a press conference, Ryder said the US policy remains focused on the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, despite recent remarks by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol that his country may deploy tactical nuclear weapons or possess its own nuclear capabilities.

Earlier, the South Korean president said he is looking into various possibilities following growing calls to reintroduce US tactical nuclear weapons to the country or acquire its own nuclear weapons.

“There are diverse opinions across our nation and in the United States regarding extended deterrence, so I am listening to them carefully and looking carefully at various possibilities,” Yoon was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency in response to a question about the possibility of redeploying tactical nuclear weapons.

In 1990, the US withdrew tactical nuclear weapons from South Korea following a disarmament deal with the former Soviet Union.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have risen again with North Korea launching dozens of missiles last year in a series of weapons tests, including intercontinental ballistic missiles.

  • Anadolu Agency