December 07, 2023

Yoon says Seoul could rapidly acquire nukes if North Korean threats increase

Remarks likely seek to pressure US to strengthen nuclear umbrella amid concerns about alliances’ defenses, experts say

Seoul could rapidly develop its own nuclear weapons if threats stemming from North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction become “more serious,” South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said Wednesday.

The remarks represent the president’s most explicit comment to date about South Korea acquiring nuclear weapons, a prospect that enjoys widespread public support but which Seoul has long rejected as a U.S. ally under Washington’s nuclear umbrella and a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.