The main opposition Liberty Korea Party adopted redeployment of US tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea as their party platform on Wednesday, amid escalating provocations from North Korea.
“The government is losing its presence in the international stage. We thought we should come up with a strategic solution to the current status and so we decided to demand for redispatching the tactical nuclear arms,” floor leader Rep. Chung Woo-taik said after the party’s general meeting.
Liberty Korea Party members at general meeting on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
“We still have to watch for the feasibility, but I believe our decision will be able to offer a different message to concerned countries. It also goes in line with the public sentiment here in Korea,” he added, referring to a recent poll by Embrain.
In the survey released on Wednesday, 68.4 percent of 1,015 respondents answered the country needs to be armed with tactical nuclear weapons and nuclear-powered submarines, while 27.2 percent said it should adhere to principles of denuclearization.
It also found that 64.8 percent expressed concerns over national security while 34.6 percent said they were not worried.
The biggest conservative party’s move comes just after 26 years since the two Koreas signed the joint declaration to keep the peninsula free from nuclear arms.
The party has pushed the government to review the redeployment plan following a series of North Korean provocations, including the July 4 test-firing of the intercontinental ballistic missile.
Earlier in the day, ruling Democratic Party’s Floor Leader Woo Won-shik warned against the opposition’s claim in a local radio interview, that redeployment of the nuclear arms would only be a “positive act” for the North, by recognizing the state as a nuclear power.
“We would also be contradicting our decision (in 1991) if we claim for redeployment. How can we then demand the North’s dismantlement of its nuclear program?” he said.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org