NUAC proposed redeploying US tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea

Posted on : 2016-10-14 18:53 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Such a move would repudiate consensus on the need to denuclearize the Korean peninsula

The National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC), a presidential organization according to the South Korean Constitution, submitted a policy report proposing the redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea, it was belatedly confirmed on Oct. 13.

The NUAC is a constitutional organization established according to Article 92 of the Constitution to advise the South Korean President on the formulation of policies for peaceful unification. It is chaired by the President.

In a sourcebook titled “Second Policy Proposal for Unification Policy 2016” published on its website on Oct. 13, the NUAC official proposed the redeployment of US tactical nuclear weapons as a means of “maintaining strong international coordination and deterring the North Korean nuclear program.” The US military’s tactical nuclear weapons were originally withdrawn in late 1991.

“Measures such as the redeployment of US tactical nuclear weapons within South Korea and the permanent stationing of state-of-the-art US strategic assets could function as a form of pressure not only against North Korea but also for Chinese sanctions against North Korea,” the council claimed.

The argument calls for redeploying the US military’s tactical nuclear weapons as a means of triggering a collapse in the North. The report was passed along to the Blue House last month, sources said.

“Like the calls for [South Korea’s] nuclear armament, the NUAC’s calls for redeploying tactical nuclear weapons are an abandonment and repudiation of the historic Joint Declaration [of South and North Korea] on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” said Inje University professor Kim Yeon-cheol.

“The argument for redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons is one that tolerates and justifies North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons,” Kim argued.

“It is outrageous that these arguments were proposed to the President in a public document,” he added.

A North Korea policy expert and former member of a NUAC senior government employee group said it was “merely a form of political attack to propose redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons as policy when even the US government opposes it.”

“You get the feeling the NUAC has forgotten its very basis for existing and become a vanguard political organization for stirring the pot and denouncing the North,” the expert said.

During a South Korea visit on Sep. 13, US State Department Special Representative for North Korea Policy and senior Six-Party Talks representative Sung Kim said that “both [South Korea and US] leaders, and perhaps more importantly our military experts, have determined that there is no need to reintroduce nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula.”

By Jung In-hwan, staff reporter

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