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Ruling party leadership calls for S. Korea's nuclear armament

All Headlines 11:32 January 07, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean ruling party leaders said Thursday that the country should consider creating its own nuclear potential for self-defense, a day after North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.

"It is time for us to peacefully arm ourselves with nukes from the perspective of self-defense to fight against North Korea's terror and destruction," Won Yoo-cheol, floor leader of the party, said during a meeting of senior party members.

Won said that the most desirable solution to the communist country's nuclear threats is peaceful dialogue but noted that it is time to re-examine alternatives.

On Wednesday, North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test, claiming that it has successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test, hours after a 4.8-magnitude earthquake was detected in an area 49 kilometers north of Kilju, home to the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

Rep. Kim Jung-hoon, chief policymaker of the party, echoed Won, saying that South Korea should desperately find countermeasures to secure its national security.

"China, Russia and North Korea are in fact armed with nuclear devices, and Japan is enriching uranium," the lawmaker said. "Our national security is in grave danger."

khj@yna.co.kr
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