NK-S Korean nuclear armament

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Thursday blasted calls by some South Koreans for the country to develop independent nuclear deterrence, saying it is a move that will threaten the future of the Korean people.

The Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, said in an article titled "revealing the true nature of nuclear criminals" that Seoul has been engaged in a clandestine atomic weapons development from the 1960s onward, and even tried to build nuclear powered submarines.

The attacks come as some conservative lawmakers, scholars and civic groups have demanded Seoul protect itself by building its own nuclear deterrence capability to counter North Korea's WMD threat.

The paper said the South has been arguing it is only carrying out experiments and generating power on its research and commercial reactors, but said that such claims are only attempts at hiding the truth.

The newspaper, in addition, accused Rep. Chung Mong-joon, a seven-term lawmaker and former head of the ruling Saenuri Party, of being a "malicious confrontationist" and claimed that if the warmongers in Seoul acquired weapons of mass destruction (WMD) it would lead to a nuclear holocaust for all Koreans.

Chung and several Saenuri lawmakers demanded a revision in Seoul's nuclear policy, but the new Park Geun-hye administration and top military policymakers have said such a step does not help the country's cause and could actually complicate efforts to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons buildup.

The North detonated a nuclear device on Feb. 12 in defiance of warnings issued by the international community. The latest provocation comes after the communist country tested nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009, and has test-fired five long-range rockets since 1998.

The Rodong Sinmun's latest article comes after another report published on Monday accusing the United States of having deployed various types of nuclear weapons in South Korea since the 1950s and using them to threaten the North for decades. It then claimed that because of the threats posed, the North's own nuclear tests are justifiable as being defensive in nature.

The paper, meanwhile, did not touch on the fact that Seoul has abandoned its nuclear weapons program carried out in the 1970s and that the United States has pulled out all of its tactical nuclear weapons from the country after North and South Korea agreed to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula in the early 1990s.

<All rights reserved by Yonhap News Agency>