WASHINGTON, May 18 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the 2013 national defense authorization bill that recommends the redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula.
The non-binding amendment approved by the House reflects the Republican Party's push to get the incumbent Obama administration to take a firmer stance against North Korea's nuclear weapons threat.
The Republicans who control the House have also hinted that the redeployment of short-range, low yield nukes in South Korea and other parts of Northeast Asia could help nudge China into pressuring North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions. Conservative lawmakers in Washington have been frustrated by China's reluctance to push North Korea on the nuclear issue.
Despite the passage of the amendment, both the U.S. State and Defense departments said Washington is committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The White House also said it could veto the bill, while Seoul officially said any deployment of nuclear weapons would run counter to the 1992 inter-Korean declaration on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
South Korea's military added that such a move would work against ongoing efforts to get North Korea to give up its own nuclear weapons program.
Before the early 1990s, the U.S. stockpiled tactical nukes, such as the very short range Honest John surface-to-surface missile, nuclear artillery rounds, and bombs that could be dropped from attack aircraft, in the South to deter North Korean aggression.
The passage of the bill in the House follows the motion being approved by the House Armed Services Committee on May 9.
Congressional sources said another amendment that opposed recommending the redeployment of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula forwarded by a Democratic lawmaker was rejected.
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