Pyongyang's ongoing nuclear aggression may potentially result in South Korea and Japan hosting nuclear weapons on their own turf, a scenario that would have wide-ranging negative consequences, Singapore's leader has warned.
"What's different this time is that North Korea has more nuclear weapons ... so the risks are higher," Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday.
To date, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has conducted six nuclear tests — the latest and largest one on Sept. 3 potentially incorporated a hydrogen bomb and caused a 6.3 magnitude earthquake — in addition to many ballistic missile launches. That's despite ongoing efforts by the international community to bring the sanction-burdened state to the negotiating table.
Tensions recently escalated amid a series of hostile exchanges between President Donald Trump and Kim, with North Korea's deputy United Nations ambassador warning on Monday that "nuclear war may break out any moment." That's left South Korea and Japan — seen as Kim's likeliest targets — weighing various security options, including the deployment of American tactical nuclear weapons in both countries.