South Korea not pursuing any nuclear weapons programme: USA
Washington/Seoul: The United States of America today (IST) stressed the importance of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and claimed the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was not pursuing any nuclear weapons programme.
On Wednesday, January 11, 2023, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol for the first time officially said since the U.S. removed its nuclear munitions from the South in 1991, that Seoul could develop its own nuclear weapons in face of the escalated tension with Pyongyang. Surveys in recent years showed that most South Koreans supported such a move. Yoon, though, also mentioned that as for now his country would strengthen ties with Washington to discourage North Korea’s nuclear drive, and that building nuclear weapons was not yet an official policy of the country.
“The Yoon administration has been very clear that it is not pursuing a nuclear weapons programme and that it is working closely with the United States through existing extended deterrence mechanisms,” the US State Department claimed. It added that Washington would continue to work with Seoul to strengthen their “extended deterrence programmes in the face of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – DPRK’s (North Korea’s) destabilizing actions.”
The United States accused Pyongyang of raising nuclear tensions in the region by pursuing an unlawful nuclear arsenal and taking part in destabilising actions.
Responding to a statement by Pentagon and the White House that they want complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, Vedant Patel, Principal Deputy Spokesperson of the US State Department, stressed that was a “shared objective” of both the United States and South Korea, and asserted: “That continues to be our goal, and the Yoon administration has been very clear that it is not pursuing a nuclear weapons programme.”
– global bihari bureau