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Former USFK commander says S. Korea may lose allies if nuclear-armed

Former USFK commander says S. Korea may lose allies if nuclear-armed

Posted November. 28, 2020 07:54,   

Updated November. 28, 2020 07:54


Burwell Bell, a former commander of the United States Forces Korea (USFK), warned that South Korea may lose allies and become isolated in response to those in the South Korean political circles who suggested that the country should be armed with nuclear weapons. He said nuclear armament can be a disaster that makes South Korea’s security even more unstable.

“I understand South Koreans’ frustration with North Korea for repeatedly bringing up nuclear weapons, but nuclear armament of South Korea as a result of it is clearly not in line with the national security interests of the country,” he said in a statement sent to radio network Voice of America on Thursday (local time).

“South Korea’s nuclear armament will destroy long-term efforts to build stable and friendly relations with the U.S. and Japan, which will lead to a disaster for the country,” said the four-star general who served as the commander of the USFK from 2006 to 2008, the United Nations Commander, and the ROK-US Combined Forces Commander. “The U.S. will have to put distance from its long-standing commitment to fighting along with South Korea against North Korea and withdraw its guarantee of the nuclear umbrella for South Korea,” he diagnosed


“Once the U.S. withdraws its security alliance with South Korea, South Korea will be left in a situation to protect itself against North Korea, China, and Russia,” he said, adding that Japan will also consider South Korea as a direct threat and have to take actions.p

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com