The US does not want rearm South Korea with nuclear weapons to match North.
“The US does not support the reintroduction of tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, although we certainly understand those feelings especially in light of the recent nuclear test (by the North),” Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Bergeson, deputy commander of USFK and commander of the 7th Air Force was quoted by Korea Herald as saying at a forum in Seoul Thursday.
South Korea ended up giving nuclear weapons in 1970 for US-provided nuclear umbrella after a war with North Korea in 1950.
The call for nuclear rearmament has intensified after the North conducted what it claimed to be a missile-ready hydrogen bomb Sunday. Although many question the credibility of Pyongyang’s claim, it appears clear that the regime’s nuclear program is advancing much faster than expected, the report stated.
Recently, Seoul’s Defense Minister Song Young-moo revealed that he had brought up the issue during his talk with his US counterpart Jim Mattis at the Pentagon last week. The ministry later explained that it was mentioned as one of several ways to respond to the North Korean nuclear threat, but was not a proposal to bring nukes back to South Korea. The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae has also dismissed the possibility. “The government respects the global non-proliferation regime and continues to align all its policy within that framework,” it said.