S. Korean ambassador to U.S. highlights need for 'creative' ways to counter N. Korean threat
By Byun Duk-kun
WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Cho Tae-yong acknowledged the need to consider "creative" ways to deal with North Korea's growing nuclear arsenal on Wednesday, amid calls for the redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea.
Cho also noted the nuclear threat posed by North Korea has become a "real threat."
"(We) may need to quietly review creative solutions in accordance with changes in the environment," the top South Korean diplomat in the U.S. said in a parliamentary audit session in Washington.
The remarks came in reaction to a call from a ruling party lawmaker for the Seoul government to consider requesting the deployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea.
The U.S. withdrew all its tactical nuclear weapons from South Korea in late 1991.
"North Korea's nuclear threat has become a real threat, not a theoretical one," Cho said. "(I) agree with the basic direction that we must also strengthen our countermeasure capabilities accordingly."
The seemingly growing call in South Korea for the redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons follows North Korea's new nuclear policy that it says allows "automatic" and "immediate" use of nuclear weapons when the country is under threat of an attack by hostile forces.
"The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains very serious due to North Korea's advancing nuclear and missile threats," said Cho.
"North Korea advanced its missile capabilities by firing a total of 43 ballistic missiles this year alone, and is believed to have completed all technical preparations for an additional nuclear test,' he added.
Seoul's spy agency earlier said the North may conduct its seventh nuclear test between Oct. 16 and Nov. 8. Pyongyang conducted its sixth and last nuclear test in September 2017.
(LEAD) N. Korea tests 'underwater nuclear attack drone,' cruise missiles for nuclear warhead: KCNA
(LEAD) Zebra captured some 3 hours after escaping from Seoul zoo
U.S. Forces Korea holds first deployment training of THAAD 'remote' launcher
N. Korea says it conducted new underwater nuke weapon test, strategic cruise missile drill: KCNA
BTS' Jimin to release 1st individual album
Yoon puts S. Korea-Japan relations back on track
Japan's removal of export curbs on S. Korea to boost supply chain stability, ease biz uncertainties
Yoon's summit with Biden to highlight S. Korea's 'pivotal' role in region: U.S. experts
(News Focus) Solution to forced labor issue shows Yoon's commitment to improving ties with Japan
Seoul's controversial plan for forced labor compensation reflects urgency of security partnership with Tokyo: experts