MOSCOW (Sputnik) — South Korea’s main opposition party Liberty Korea Party (LPK) is considering to include costs of redeployment of US tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula in next year’s defense budget request, local media reported Sunday citing party members.
The party has intensified its appeals for redeployment of US tactical nuclear weapons which were withdrawn from South Korea in the early 1990s after the latest nuclear test, carried out by Pyongyang. On Thursday, the party announced it would send its delegation to the United States next Wednesday to discuss the issue with US government officials.
"If we bring in the tactical nukes, [although it will be the U.S. in charge of the management], there will certainly be substantial costs associated," another LKP member said, as quoted by the news agency.
Washington has been extending its military cooperation with its eastern allies, South Korea and Japan, amid the tensions on the Korean Peninsula caused by North Korea's repeated ballistic missile and nuclear tests. In the most recent case, Pyongyang on September 3 carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test since 2006. Also, on August 29, North Korea launched a ballistic missile over the territory of the Japanese northern island of Hokkaido without warning the country's authorities.
On September 2, Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed in a phone call on the purchase of billions of dollars of extra US weapons by Seoul. Moreover, South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo said on Monday that he had asked his US counterpart Jim Mattis that "strategic assets" such as US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and B-52 bombers be sent to South Korea more regularly. There are currently two US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems deployed in South Korea, however Seoul said in late August that four more launchers for the THAAD systems might be supplied shortly.