U.S. to Pull Nuclear Arms From Korea
The Bush Administration has decided to remove all U.S. nuclear weapons from South Korea, paving the way for a renewed demand that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program.
Administration officials said the decision was made last week after renewed consultations with South Korean authorities.
President Bush announced Sept. 27 that he had ordered withdrawal of all U.S. land- and sea-based tactical nuclear weapons, a move that required removal of U.S. nuclear artillery shells in South Korea. But air-delivered nuclear weapons at a base in South Korea were excluded from the Sept. 27 plan.
No timetable has been set for their removal.
U.S. nuclear weapons have been in South Korea since the 1960s.
North Korea’s nuclear program is believed to include a small Soviet-supplied research reactor, a larger research reactor capable of providing plutonium and a nearby reprocessing plant that produces larger quantities of plutonium, the raw material for nuclear weapons.
Although North Korea signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1985, it has refused to agree to international inspections.