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S. Korean, U.S. officials discuss strengthening Seoul’s defense capabilities

S. Korean, U.S. officials discuss strengthening Seoul’s defense capabilities

Posted September. 01, 2017 07:20,   

Updated September. 01, 2017 07:27


South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo discussed the proposed redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in South Korean at a series of talks with U.S. National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis during a visit to Washington on Wednesday (local time).

A senior South Korean government official told reporters in Washington that the South Korean defense chief explained to the U.S. defense officials about calls from South Korea’s opposition parties and media for the tactical nuclear weapons redeployment and about Seoul’s nuclear policy.

Another official said that Song explained about the mounting demands from lawmakers and the conservatives for tactical nuclear weapons redeployment amid growing security concerns over North Korea’s advancing nuclear weapons. The official noted that the tactical nuclear weapons issue was brought up while Song was discussing with the senior U.S. defense officials the need to increase the maximum weight of South Korean missile warheads and the need to redeploy U.S. strategic weapons systems in the South.

The official said that the U.S. defense secretary responded positively to Seoul’s call for expanding its missile warhead weight. Song also reportedly discussed Seoul’s proposed introduction of a nuclear-powered submarine in an attempt to beef up its capabilities for responding to the North’s nuclear and missile provocations.