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Seoul Softens Nuclear Defense amid Dialogue with N. Korea

Write: 2018-10-12 15:39:53Update: 2018-10-12 15:55:15

Seoul Softens Nuclear Defense amid Dialogue with N. Korea

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Friday that it will now reconsider the deployment of U.S. strategic arms to Korea and its own plan for building an aggressive nuclear defense system against the North. Kim Bum-soo has more on the possibility of the defense policy change hinted at the parliamentary audit on the military. 

Report: The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) has hinted at readjusting the nuclear defense readiness amid the ongoing denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang. 

In its report to the parliamentary defense committee Friday, the JCS specifically noted it will reconsider the development of the three-axis system of the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation, aimed at eliminating the North’s leadership in the event of contingency, the Kill Chain preemptive strike system and the Korea Air and Missile Defense system.

The construction of the three-pillar system was included in a five-year national defense plan released last year, with completion set for the early 2020s. 

While noting that it will factor in changes in the security environment, the JCS also said it will reconsider the U.S. strategic weapons deployment to the region. 

In reaction to previous North Korean provocations, the U.S. frequently scrambled its nuclear bombers, submarines and aircraft carriers to the Korean Peninsula often at Seoul's request.  

The defense ministry had previously said it would push ahead with the plan to build the effective nuclear defense system despite the recent easing of military tension.

While some military analysts are speculating that Seoul is now mulling on scaling back or pacing down the construction of the three-axis system, defense officials clarified that Pyongyang should take the next step to see actual changes in Seoul's defense policy. 

Meanwhile, JCS Chairman General Park Han-ki told the parliamentary audit that his military will "systematically and actively" push for defense reform and the transfer of wartime operational control from the U.S.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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