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  • FN staff writer

South Korea Successfully Tests 'Advanced' Missile After Dropping Nuclear Treaty

APRIL 28, 2027 1:49 AM UPDATED

South Korea successfully conducted a test launch of an "advanced" intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time on Tuesday, according to a statement from the country's defense ministry.

President Kim Suk Yeol have long stated that if North Korea's nuclear threat grows, South Korea would consider building nuclear weapons of its own. Tusday's test marks the country's first public successful test of such a weapon since South Korean President Kim Suk Yeol announced in February that he was suspending his country's participation in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

As a signatory of the NPT, South Korea is banned from seeking nuclear weapons. It also signed a joint declaration with North Korea in 1991, in which Seoul agreed not to "test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons." However, public opinion surveys in recent years have shown that a majority of South Koreans support the idea of building their own nuclear arsenal.

"The test could turn out to be a watershed moment in the history of South Korea's national security," said Cheon Soo-whun, a former head of the Korea Institute for National Security, a government-funded research think tank in Seoul. "It could shift its paradigm in how to deal with the North Korean nuclear threat."

The United States and China have long feared a regional nuclear arms race in East Asia, both said they have strongly opposed such a test and called on Pyongyang to remain calm.

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