This would be a revolutionary step, overturning half a century of opposition to nuclear capability. South Korea has committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
"It will become a domino effect and even South Korea will become concerned and develop nuclear weapons, and maybe Japan as well," according to a senior official in the Seoul government.
"This will all lead to a big security threat," the director-general for reunification policy in the Ministry of Unification, Lee Duk-haeng, told Fairfax Media.
"For Australia this is not a distant problem."
The dictatorship of Kim Jong-un conducted its fourth underground nuclear test in January in breach of UN Security Council orders.
And it continues to test ballistic missiles, most recently last Wednesday, also a breach of UN Security Council resolutions.
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