It’s a different North Korea that the world is facing right now, one that could see Japan and South Korea arming with nuclear weapons, and setting off longer term effects in Northeast Asia, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Oct 19.
He said: “What’s different this time is that North Korea has more nuclear weapons, they’ve conducted more nuclear tests, they’re developing their missile technology, particularly the ICMB technology, and so the risks are higher.”
On Monday, North Korea’s deputy United Nations ambassador warned that a “nuclear war may break out any moment”, which has forced South Korea and Japan to consider their security options, including the deployment of US tactical weapons in both countries.
He said: “These are thoughts which cannot be completely suppressed and if in fact, it goes that way, and South Korea and Japan go closer to being nuclear powers or actually cross the threshold, it means a different strategic and security balance in Northeast Asia.”
The tension would also cause the Chinese to be “very alarmed”, he added.
“I don’t think they’ll make for a safer world. There’ll be implications elsewhere in the world.”