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Lawmakers call for S. Korea's nuclear armament in case of another N.K. nuke test

All Headlines 16:32 April 03, 2017

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- A group of lawmakers from the conservative Liberty Korea Party on Monday called for the launch of South Korea's own nuclear armament program in case of another North Korea nuclear test.

The 24 lawmakers of the former ruling party made a joint statement, saying "nuclear weapons can only be deterred by nuclear arms," and that Seoul cannot depend wholly on economic sanctions against Pyongyang to counter its evolving military threats.

This photo, taken on March 9, 2017, shows a public forum at the National Assembly in Seoul on the need to arm South Korea with nuclear weapons. (Yonhap)

The reclusive state has recently been seen preparing for a nuclear test with experts forecasting a major provocation during the U.S.-China summit from Thursday to Friday, its parliamentary session next Wednesday or on the 105th anniversary of its founder Kim Il-sung's birthday next Saturday.

"We have come to the situation where we have to call for the beginning of our own nuclear armament program immediately should the North press ahead with its sixth nuclear test," the statement reads.

"It is an inevitable self-defense measure to protect our nation and the well-being of our citizens from the North's Kim Jong-un regime that can push the nuclear missile button at any time," it added.

The statement, however, said that even if Seoul takes nuclear steps, it would promise to target only North Korea, and immediately dismantle its nuclear arms should Pyongyang denuclearize itself.

The statement, in addition, urged the leaders of the United States and China to announce "effective measures" to preclude the North from staging another nuke test during their summit this week.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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