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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. LARSEN of Washington. Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of an amendment offered by Representative Johnson of Georgia that would include a finding that states the deployment of tactical weapons to South Korea would destabilize the Western Pacific region and would not be in the national security interests of the United States.

Due to increased provocative actions taken by North Korea, I feel there is a thought that the placement of tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula would act as a deterrent against North Korea's continued desire to build nuclear weapons. I disagree.

Our military's extended nuclear deterrent capabilities are already sufficient to deal with the North Korean threat. The Kim Jung-un regime is aware that with our advanced submarine launch capabilities, our sophisticated stealth bombers, and our ICBM missiles, the United States military has the ability to cause devastating harm to North Korea.

Instead of acting as a deterrent to North Korea, placing tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula will only embolden the Kim Jung-un regime to develop their nuclear capabilities faster, increasing the risk of development or testing mistakes that could harm innocent North Koreans in the process.

Placing tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula without the support of the South Korean, Japanese, or Chinese governments could severely hamper the progress made during the six-party talks. The United States should not unilaterally decide to take a destabilizing action in this region of the world without close consultation with our allies in the region.

For these reasons I strongly urge my colleagues to support the Johnson amendment.

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