S. Korea cautious about Trump’s decision to scrap nuclear treaty
SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government said Tuesday it will closely monitor the aftermath of the U.S. move to annul a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty with Russia.
The Donald Trump administration announced a decision to exit the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. It bans ground-launch nuclear missiles with ranges from 500-5,500 kilometers.
It adds to worries about an heated arms race in the Asia-Pacific region amid the rapid rise of China's military might.
"Procedures to abolish the INF have not made official," Noh Kyu-duk, spokesman for Seoul's foreign ministry, said at a press briefing.
The government will keep close tabs on the situation going forward, in consideration of the accord's impact on regional security, he added.
Asked about potential implications with regard to the North Korean nuclear issue, he gave no direct answer.
"I would just say that basically, the U.S. and Russia take the same position as our government on the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," he said.
On inter-Korean cooperation, Noh stressed the government is firmly committed to complying with international sanctions on Pyongyang.
"Our government's basic position is to push for South-North exchanges and joint projects within the framework of sanctions all the time so as not to cause any dispute or unnecessary problems," he said.
Earlier this week, the two Koreas agreed to work together to address the issue of pine tree pests and other tree diseases in the latest bilateral accord to follow up on their summit deals.
The forestry cooperation is not, in principle, related to sanctions on the North for its nuclear and missile programs, Noh said.
Source: Yonhap News Agency