Stoltenberg stresses importance of U.S. «nuclear umbrella» against North Korean threats

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during an interview with the South Korean news agency Yonhap. – -/YNA/dpa

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has stressed the importance of a U.S. «nuclear umbrella» for South Korea in the face of Pyongyang’s threats.

«I think it’s important to understand that what we call extended deterrence (or nuclear umbrella), which means that NATO allies and also some partners, such as South Korea, do not have their own nuclear weapons but are covered by the nuclear deterrent provided by the United States,» he has explained at an event in Seoul organized by the Chey Institute for Advanced Studies.

In this sense, the head of the Atlantic Alliance reiterated that the organization «will remain a nuclear alliance» as long as nuclear weapons continue to exist, assuring that the world would be more dangerous if NATO allies get rid of them in the face of nuclear threats from Russia, China and North Korea.

«Then nuclear deterrence still has an extremely important task to fulfill,» he concluded, according to statements reported by the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Stoltenberg arrived Sunday in South Korea with the intention of strengthening the partnership between the Asian country and the Atlantic alliance in the face of China’s ascendancy as a regional power that is «rapidly expanding its nuclear capability» or the «global threat» posed by North Korea.

Following this, Pyonyang has considered Stoltenberg’s visit as a «prelude» to war in the region, arguing that it may create a «new Cold War» by seeking to strengthen relations with Seoul and Tokyo.