mayor calls for nuclear weapons


The country should get nuclear weapons despite a possible international backlash, says Oh Se-hoon

The conflict in Ukraine proves that South Korea needs nuclear weapons to counter the threat posed by nuclear-armed North Korea, Seoul’s mayor said.

“North Korea has almost succeeded in miniaturizing and lightening tactical nuclear weapons and securing at least dozens of nuclear warheads.” Oh Se-hoon said this in an interview with Reuters on Monday.

In such a situation, “It is difficult to convince people with the logic that we should refrain from developing nuclear weapons and stick to the cause of denuclearization.” he added.

The mayor of Seoul, home to nearly half of the country’s 51 million population, said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has convinced him that South Korea should seek a nuclear deterrent.

“Russia freely violates Ukraine’s airspace by flying bombers and firing missiles…but Ukraine hardly attacks Russian territory because of its psychological inferiority to a nuclear state,” Oh said.

According to the capital’s mayor, South Korea should strive to acquire nuclear weapons regardless of possible international backlash and sanctions.

“There may be some initial resistance from the international community, but I believe it will eventually gain more support.” he proposed.

Oh was one of the most senior officials in President Yoon Suk Yeol’s conservative People Power Party to advocate for South Korea to go nuclear, and his current statements appear to be the most aggressive yet.

Polls show that his opinion is shared by many in the country. A survey by Data Research in early March found that 70% of South Koreans support nuclear weapons development.

The interview with the mayor of Seoul came on the day US and South Korean forces launched major 11-day exercises entitled Freedom Shield 23.

As the exercises began, North Korea fired two strategic cruise missiles from a submarine, saying the system confirmed its reliability.

South Korea approves indirect arms shipments to Ukraine

Last week, Pyongyang insisted that military exercises between Washington and Seoul continue “clearly” a sign that the US is preparing for a war with North Korea. “The risk of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula shifts from an imaginary stage to a realistic one” because of such “belligerent armed demonstrations”, it warned.

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