Tensions between the US and North Korea threaten to have devastating consequences for South Korea. South Korean officials, however, appear to be lining up to play host to yet more US military asserts, including potentially bringing nuclear arms back into the country.
The first announced deal was that South Korea will temporarily allow the US to deploy four additional THAAD missile defense systems in the country. The US had tried to rush through this deployment before the last election, but was stopped midway through by environmental concerns.
South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo is encouraging the US to regularly deploy “strategy assets,” like aircraft carriers and nuclear bombers in the country. He also suggested it was worth considering hosting tactical nuclear arms outright.
On top of hosting more US military equipment, they’re looking at their own military buildup. The White House announced today that they have given “conceptual approval” for removing a limit on the sort of warheads South Korea is allowed to have.
The Trump deal isn’t finalized, but is part of decades of progressive loosening of South Korea’s arms limitations. Officials say they hope they’ll buy billions of dollars in US-made missiles under this deal.