South Korea has issued a warning to the North and said that using its nuclear weapons would put it on a “path of self-destruction.”
Moon Hong Sik, an acting ministry spokesperson, said on Tuesday: “We warn that the North Korean government would face the overwhelming response by the South Korea-US military alliance and go on the path of self-destruction, if it attempts to use nuclear weapons.”
The warning comes days after North Korea legislated a new law that would allow it to use its nuclear weapons preemptively.
The law, according to South Korea’s defense ministry, would only deepen North Korea’s isolation and prompt Seoul and Washington to “further strengthen their deterrence and reaction capacities”.
The ministry added that South Korea will sharply boost its own preemptive attack plan, missile defense and massive retaliation capacities.
It will also seek greater security commitment from the US to defend itself using all available means, including nuclear one.
Last week North Korea’s parliament passed a law allowing Pyongyang to use pre-emptive nuclear strikes in order to protect itself, a move likely to spark further tensions in the region.
“The utmost significance of legislating nuclear weapons policy is to draw an irretrievable line so that there can be no bargaining over our nuclear weapons,” said North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.
“Let them sanction us for 100 days, 1,000 days, 10 years or 100 years.
“We will never give up our rights to self-defence that preserves our country’s existence and the safety of our people just to temporarily ease the difficulties we are experiencing now.”
South Korea’s new conservative government headed by president Yoon Suk-Yeol has earlier promised a tougher stance on North Korean provocation.
It has also offered massive support plans if the North denuclearizes, which has been rejected by the North.
The language used by Seoul including the words “self-destruction” is unusual but is not being used for the first time.
Former president Park Geun-hye‘s government which was in power in South Korea from 2013-2017 had also warned that the North would evaporate from Earth or self-destruct with its provocations, as the North conducted a slew of missile and nuclear tests.
(Additional reporting by agencies)