Seoul has vowed to “overwhelmingly” respond to any future attack by the North
South Korea has warned that Pyongyang would see the “end of its regime” if it ever launched a nuclear strike, also declaring that Washington would come to its aid in the event of a conflict with the DPRK.
Seoul’s Defense Ministry issued a statement on Wednesday in response to recent developments in the North, after officials there pledged to bolster the country’s nuclear arsenal, even codifying the policy in the North Korean constitution.
“Our military is equipped with a combined South Korea-US readiness posture that can overwhelmingly respond to any attack from North Korea,” the Defense Ministry said, adding “If North Korea attempts to use nukes, it will face the end of its regime.”
The statement went on to say that Pyongyang’s nuclear forces are a “grave threat that harms peace and stability” in the region, arguing that the country will only “become further isolated from the international community” if it continues on the present course.
During a speech at the Supreme People’s Assembly last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stated that the country’s pursuit of nuclear arms has been “made permanent as the basic law of the state.” Contrary to the comments from Seoul, Kim said these weapons will help to “deter war and protect regional and global peace by rapidly developing nuclear weapons to a higher level,” adding that the government had merely established the “legal foundations for guaranteeing security.”
The new constitutional amendment came just one year after the legislative body codified Kim’s nuclear weapons policy as “irreversible,” including approval for preemptive use. North Korea has rejected appeals by the South and the US to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for promises of sanctions relief, and Kim vowed earlier this year to “exponentially” boost production of warheads. He has ramped up missile tests amid escalating tensions with Washington and Seoul, which have also launched a flurry of war games around the Korean Peninsula in recent years despite repeated complaints from Pyongyang.
The latest comments from the South Korean Defense Ministry echoed past remarks by South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who warned that the North Korean state would be brought to an end should it ever resort to nuclear weapons. At the time, the president also touted Seoul’s close ties with Washington, which currently maintains just shy of 30,000 soldiers in the country.
October 04, 2023 at 11:38AM