The head of NATO visited a Trident nuclear missile submarine base at Faslane, Scotland, in a bid to reemphasize the alliance’s nuclear capabilities in the face of aggressive regimes in Russia and North Korea.

The visit to U.K. Naval Base Clyde on the Scottish coast—the home port of Britain’s four Vanguard-class Ballistic missile submarines—comes as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization talks more publicly about the arms at its members’ disposal, in response to prodding from the U.S.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg toured the HMS Vengeance submarine alongside U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. Mr. Stoltenberg was accompanied by ambassadors from NATO, which has stepped up its profile this month, issuing statements on North Korea’s nuclear program and the international treaty banning nuclear weapons.

“Nuclear deterrence remains critical for our security,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. “As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.”

Some NATO members hesitate to emphasize the alliance’s nuclear capabilities because they don’t want to be seen as adding belligerent rhetoric. Others, however, say full-throated emphasizing of the nuclear deterrence is a way to remind potential adversaries that any attack would be costly and devastating.

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