South Korea says no plans to introduce nuclear submarines

Andrew Cummings
August 30, 2016

The latest submarine launch of a ballistic missile onWednesday came days after the USA and South Korea beganmilitary exercises, prompting North Korean threats ofretaliation for the military drills, which it views as arehearsal for invasion by the USA and other adversaries. The worldwide community must work together to speed up efforts to halt the country's provocations.

Earlier this month, China insisted on stating its opposition to the US deploying a THAAD anti-missile battery in South Korea in any statement condemning the missile tests, which scuppered a fresh statement.

It is vital for the UNSC to swiftly send a strong message to North Korea, which has repeatedly conducted nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches in violation of United Nations sanctions resolutions.

Facing strong oppositions from residents and politicians, Seoul's defense ministry said it would reconsider where the U.S. missile defense battery is sited only within Seongju county, some 250 km southeast of capital Seoul.

Television news broadcasts and the front pages of morning newspapers Thursday showed images of the launch, conducted in the early hours the day before.

South Korea's decision to deploy a USA missile system on its territory as well as its massive military drills with the United States have enraged Pyongyang. The enrichment can easily lead to a nuclear development as weapons-grade uranium requires at least 95-percent enrichment. Until the beginning of this month, it had been reluctant to criticize North Korea for the launches.

Signs of an impending SLBM firing are hard to detect.

Though North Korea has protested such exercises for decades, prompting regular spikes in tensions on the divided peninsula, it has been particularly alarmed by reports that the maneuvers have recently started to include training for an invasion of the North and precision strikes, or "beheading operations", against its top leaders. -South Korean military exercises now underway. The missile's range could reach 2,000 kilometers.

The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said late on Friday on its closely-watched website, 38 North, that the success of North Korea's SLBM test this week suggests the program may be progressing faster than originally expected. That means all of South Korea, and possibly parts of Japan, are within its striking distance.

By developing nuclear weapons, South Korea and Japan would each be risking its relationship with the United States and exposing itself to economic and energy sanctions.

Park's recent remarks deserve attention. The law also provides for the establishment of a North Korean human rights foundation which would propose policies that could pressure the North to change its behavior.

NORTH Korea's crackpot dictator Kim Jong-Un has more nuclear power in his arsenal than first feared.

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