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Explainer: Is North Korea moving nukes to its border?

Explainer: Is North Korea moving nukes to its border?
SEOUL, South Korea: Is North Korea preparing to deploy tactical nuclear weapons along its tense border with rival South Korea, which is only a short drive from the 26 million people living around Seoul, its capital?
That’s how it looks to many experts paying close attention to a high-profile North Korean military meeting this week. The possible deployment, just two months after a veiled threat by leader Kim Jong Un to preemptively use nuclear weapons, would be a major development in the decades-long standoff on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea already has thousands of conventional weapons aimed at South Korea and the nearly 30,000 U.S. forces stationed there, but moving its short-range nuclear missiles to the border would be the clearest sign yet that Kim is looking to use his nuclear weapons to both threaten South Korea and wrest concessions from outside nuclear negotiators.
Together with North Korea’s apparent preparations for its first nuclear test in five years, there’s deep skepticism among observers that diplomacy can convince the country to abandon its nukes. Critics are calling on Seoul and Washington to formulate a new approach to deal with North Korea’s fast improving nuclear program.
Here’s a look at Kim’s latest nuclear moves.
During a military meeting that ended Thursday, Kim and other senior officials confirmed additional “operation duties” and “modified operation plans” for military units near the border with South Korea.
State media dispatches didn’t mention nuclear weapons directly. But outside experts believe North Korea’s vague language signals its intention to forward-deploy tactical nuclear weapons systems. They base their assessment in part on recent public comments from North Korea about such plans,…
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