Conservative South Korea activists call for reinstatement of tactical nukes

By Elizabeth Shim
Conservative South Korea activists call for reinstatement of tactical nukes
A South Korean official points to North Korea's northeastern county of Kilju, where the country conducted a nuclear test on Friday. South Korean activists are calling for nuclear weapons to be reintroduced to the country as a deterrence measure. Photo by Yonhap/UPI

SEOUL, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Conservative South Korean activists incensed by North Korea's fifth nuclear test are calling for the placement of tactical nuclear weapons in the country.

The Korea Freedom Federation told reporters on Monday that North Korea's fifth nuclear test is a threat to peace in the world and the Korean peninsula.


"The nuclear test is a reckless and anachronistic act that threatens the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and the lives of 75 million people," the organization said. "The [missile defense] system THAAD must be immediately deployed and [South Korea] must work together with the United States and other key allies for changes in North Korea."

Another group who call themselves the "Troop of Mothers" said tactical nuclear weapons should be reintroduced as the "least means of defending" South Korea.

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"The South Korean government must cooperate fully with the United States in order to deploy tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula," the group stated on Monday.

All U.S. naval and land-based tactical nuclear weapons were withdrawn from Korea in 1991.

North Korea's underground detonation of what appeared to be a nuclear bomb on Friday has prompted strong responses from world leaders.

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Last week, South Korean President Park Geun-hye had described the test as a "testament to the fanatical recklessness of the Kim Jong Un regime obsessed with nuclear development."

On Monday, Park said there is a risk of additional provocations that could "bring the dangers of war to the Korean peninsula while inciting local terrorist and other forms of provocations," News 1 reported.

Park also called for the strengthening of military capabilities against North Korea including those under the "U.S. nuclear security umbrella," local news service Financial News reported.

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The South Korean president made the statement during a meeting with ruling and opposition party leaders, who have been divided over the deployment of THAAD, a U.S. anti-missile defense system.

On Monday she described North Korea's provocations as an "imminent threat" and called for unity.

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