North Korea nuclear test: South Korea seeks US strategic weapons


A day after North Korea claimed that it had successfully tested a hydrogen nuclear device, South Korea is in talks with the US to deploy strategic assets on the Korean peninsula, a South Korean military official said on January 7. In the backdrop of growing tensions in the Korean peninsula, South Korea is leaving no stone unturned to secure its borders.

Despite voicing doubts that the device was as advanced as North Korea claimed, the US and weapons experts pushed for more sanctions against North Korea for its rogue nuclear programme. The tests haven’t gone down well even with North Korea’s allies. China expressed anger at the underground explosion, as it was not given prior notice about the tests though it is North Korea’s main ally.

Regional implications

The test has also alarmed Japan. According to the White House, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed with US President Barack Obama that a firm global response was needed. Mr Obama also spoke to President Park Geun-hye of South Korea to discuss probable options against North Korea.

A South Korean military official has announced that the two countries had discussed the deployment of US strategic assets on the divided Korean peninsula. However, the official refused to give further details. When nuclear device was tested by North Korea in 2013, Washington had sent a pair of nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers over South Korea in a show of force.
The two Koreas have technically been in a state of war. South Korea said it was not considering a nuclear deterrent of its own, despite calls from ruling party leaders. Experts have stated that US is highly unlikely to restore the tactical nuclear missiles it removed from South Korea in 1991.

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