President Yoon Su-yeol said South Korea and the United States will retaliate fiercely and overwhelmingly if North Korea tries to use nuclear weapons.
“North Korea is threatening South Korea’s survival and prosperity by putting its nuclear weapons policy into law. It will face a fierce and overwhelming response from the US-ROK alliance if it tries to develop it. deploy nuclear weapons,” President Yoon Suk-yeol said in a speech to mark Korea’s Armed Forces Day today.
President Yoon announced that South Korea will step up joint military exercises with the United States and strengthen its reconnaissance and strike capabilities against North Korean territory.
He also criticized Pyongyang’s nuclear program, saying it violates international regulations that prohibit the proliferation of nuclear weapons and causes difficulties for people’s lives. “The North Korean regime must make the decision to denuclearize in order to build peace and common prosperity on the peninsula,” Yoon added.
North Korean officials have not commented on the statement.
The statement came amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, with Pyongyang testing four short-range ballistic missiles in the past week alone.
The United States, South Korea and Japan last week also conducted submarine hunting drills in the waters near North Korea in a show of strength. Seoul and Washington have recently stepped up joint military exercises, insisting they are purely defensive in nature. Pyongyang views the operation as a preparation for an invasion.
U.S. and South Korean officials have warned that North Korea may be on the verge of a nuclear test. North Korea is said to often seek to maximize its political impact with carefully timed weapons tests, as it faces multiple UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs. .
Vu Anh (Theo Yonhap)