Yonhap news agency reported on Friday that South Korea has warned North Korea that any nuclear strike by the North would mean “the end” of the regime led by Kim Jong Un. Seoul’s warning came after Pyongyang said that the deployment of a US nuclear-capable submarine and other strategic assets here could meet the conditions for its use of nuclear weapons.
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Seoul’s defense ministry re-issued the warning after Pyongyang’s Defense Minister Kang Sun-nam issued a scathing statement the previous day criticizing the arrival of the 18,750-ton Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) USS Kentucky in South Korea and the inaugural meeting of the South Korea-US Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) this week, Yonhap news agency reported.
“In the event of any North Korean nuclear attack against the South Korea-US alliance, it will face an immediate, forceful and decisive response from the alliance, and (we) again strongly warn that through this, (the attack) will be the end of the North Korean regime,” Yonhap news agency quoted the Seoul ministry as saying.
The USS Kentucky arrived in the southeastern port city of Busan on Tuesday. Its arrival coincided with the first NCG session, which aimed to strengthen the credibility of the extended deterrence commitment by the US to use the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to protect its allies.
According to Yonhap news agency, the ministry defended the deployment of the NCG assembly and SSBN as a “correct” defensive measure against North Korea’s “continued nuclear and missile threats”, rejecting the North’s claim that they pose a nuclear threat to the recalcitrant country.
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