A group of South Korean legislators have officially asked the United States to deploy nuclear warheads to its territory; a move the lawmakers believe is necessary to defend the nation from North Korea’s rapidly expanding nuclear and missile programs.
According to the Washington Post, a delegation of officials from Seoul is urging Congress and the Trump administration to approve the move, essentially arming South Korea with its own nuclear deterrant.
“We are here to ask for redeployment of tactical nuclear warheads in South Korea,” Lee Cheol Woo, the head of the intelligence committee of South Korea’s National Assembly told the Post.
“The ruling party came to power based on their opposition to the deployment of THAAD and having tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea,” Lee added. “But if there were to be additional requests from the U.S. government, then they would have to listen to the many voices that are asking for the additional deployment of nuclear warheads.”
The addition of American nuclear warheads on the Korean peninsula could spark an arms race in east Asia, prompting regional superpowers such as Russia and China to drastically build up their arsenals.