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South Korea should get nuclear weapons: Rep. Chung

Updated June. 04, 2012 00:09

한국어

Leading ruling Saenuri Party Rep. Chung Mong-joon said Sunday that South Korea should have the capability to possess nuclear weapons in going beyond a nuclear strategy of dependence on the U.S.

In a news conference, the former party chairman said, "North Korea’s declaration as a nuclear power in its constitution means that the North no longer intends to consider the dismantlement of nuclear weapons as a subject for negotiations. We need a comprehensive reexamination of our security policy.”

With his comments, Chung went a step further from his earlier argument for "repositioning tactical nuclear weapons (withdrawn in 1991) on the Korean Peninsula."

“Peace cannot be secured without the balance of fear or nuclear weapon for nuclear weapon,” he said, adding, “Even if (South Korea) doesn`t possess its own nuclear weapons immediately, it should secure the capability to possess them.”

Chung apparently meant that South Korea paradoxically needs to arm itself with nuclear weapons to achieve the goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

“The declaration of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula was effectively discarded due to the North’s nuclear weapons development,” he said. “It is the duty of the next administration to declare a commitment (to possess nuclear weapons) and gradually take steps one by one.”

Calling Seoul’s policy toward Pyongyang a "failure," Chung added, “South Korea has focused only on its relationship with the North, and has had the wrong perception that all problems can be resolved through negotiations.”

He also presented as one of his campaign pledges reconsideration of South Korea`s plan to retake wartime operational command of its forces from the U.S. in 2015.