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South Korea conservatives call for relocation of U.S. tactical nukes

By Elizabeth Shim
South Korea conservatives call for relocation of U.S. tactical nukes
North Korean military vehicles carrying missiles drive past during a parade for the “Day of the Sun” festival on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, on April 15. Pyongyang’s weapons development is prompting South Korean politicians for the relocation of tactical nukes to the peninsula. File Photo by How Hwee Young/EPA

Aug. 24 (UPI) -- South Korean conservatives are calling for the relocation of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to the peninsula in the face of growing threats from Pyongyang.

Conservative politicians, including former presidential candidate Hong Joon-pyo, of the Liberty Korea Party said Thursday that Seoul needs its own nuclear deterrent, adding the current administration of President Moon Jae-in is not doing enough, News 1 reported.

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"North Korea's position is that it will not give up nuclear weapons even if the sky falls," said Rep. Kim Kwang-lim of the Liberty Korea Party. "On Tuesday the U.S. commander of the Pacific Command, the U.S. strategic commander and the head of the U.S. missile defense agency stated they would deploy U.S. assets such as strategic bombers to curb North Korea's nuclear threats."

"We cannot just stand by and expect the United States to protect us," Kim added.

The South Korean politician said it is important to strengthen defense capabilities through the development of nuclear-powered submarines and other weapons.

Kim also said nearly 70 percent of South Koreans in a recent poll supported the deployment of nuclear submarines, or tactical nuclear weapons should be relocated to the peninsula, owing to concerns about North Korea's rising threats to peace.

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Main opposition politician Chung Woo-taek criticized Moon's North Korea policy, calling the president's approach to Pyongyang "unilateral and romantic."

Talks of improving North-South relations should come after North Korea decides to give up its nuclear weapons, Chung said.

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