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Saeneuri Lawmaker in Favor of Nuclear Development to Protect South Korea

by YuGee / Oct 12, 2016 09:05 AM EDT
U.S. and South Korea Marines take part in an joint military exercise in Pohang, South Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has warned of impending tests of a nuclear warhead explosion and ballistic missiles capable of carrying atomic warheads, state med

On Wednesday, Yonhap News Agency reported that a lawmaker of the Saenuri Party said that South Korea must establish its own nuclear weapon in order to counter the ongoing and future missile and nuclear provocations of North Korea.

During a forum at the National Assembly, Rep. Won Yoo Chul, one of the lawmakers of Saenuri Party who openly favors the armament of South Korea, said, "We cannot sit idly when Pyongyang is staging nuclear and missile provocations. We need to find new methods to solve the North Korean nuclear issue. The move is not to start a war. It is to protect the peace. We need to make a decision to stop Kim Jong Un's provocations and protect South Korea and its people."

Following the fifth nuclear test of North Korea on September 9, a number of lawmakers from the Saenuri Party have been calling for a nuclear armament to protect the country and its citizens. A recent public opinion poll also showed that a large percentage of the South Korean population is in favor of nuclear armament.

However, opposition parties strongly oppose the idea, claiming that the country should also keep in mind its commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and its alliance with the United States.

A unification researcher at the Sejong Institute, Cheong Seong Chang, agreed with Won's view and added that such a move will make the country much safer from any military threats from the North. He also said that creating nuclear arms will not severely damage South Korea's alliance with the United States or other neighboring countries.

Cheong stated that, for example, China slaps sanctions on North Korea when it makes provocations. Bust such a tough stance is weakened in about three months' time. He further claimed that international sanctions are closely related to the interests of every country.

Cheong also mentioned that a nuclear-armed South Korea will make its ally, the United States, safer from North Korea's long-range missiles. 

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