Trump, Moon agree to boost South Korean missile capabilities

Pacom Commander, South Korean Defense Minister Discuss North Korea

Trump also gave "conceptual" approval to the purchase by the South of billions of dollars of USA military hardware, the White House said.

The two leaders discussed the issue as a way to boost the South's defence against growing threat from North in a telephone call, South Korea's Blue House said.

The South Korean government, based on its alliance with the United States, is fully prepared to make responses to any North Korean threats and would not budge an inch at all in protecting the people's lives and national security.

The office says U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster spoke with his South Korean counterpart, Chung Eui-yong, for 20 minutes in an emergency phone call about an hour after the detonation.

Pyongyang fired an intermediate-range Hwasong-12 over Japan early on Tuesday, which it said was a mere "curtain-raiser" for the North's "resolute countermeasures" against ongoing US-South Korean military drills.

Under a bilateral agreement with the United States, Seoul is now restricted to ballistic missiles with a maximum range of 800 kilometres (500 miles) and payload of 500 kilogrammes (1100 pounds).

Washington wants to change the South Korea deal to help cut its trade deficit with Asia's fourth-largest economy.




A shallow, 6.3 magnitude quake shook North Korea on Sunday, hours after the rogue state said it had developed an advanced hydrogen bomb that possesses "great destructive power".

The two countries agreed to the cap as part of a commitment to a voluntary global arms-control pact known as the Missile Technology Control Regime, aimed at limiting the proliferation missiles and nuclear weapons.

Japan and South Korea said it was around 10 times more powerful than the tremor picked up after the last test a year ago.French President Emmanuel Macron urged the United Nations Security Council to react quickly and decisively."The worldwide community must treat this new provocation with the utmost firmness, in order to bring North Korea to come back unconditionally to the path of dialogue and to proceed to the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its nuclear and ballistic programme", he said in a statement.China, the only North Korean ally that is a permanent member of the Security Council, urged its neighbour to stop "wrong" actions that worsen the situation.

Harris encouraged greater trilateral cooperation among the United States, Japan and South Korea, which he called a partnership with a goal to meet the North Korean threat, the captain added.

Trump "provided his conceptual approval of planned purchases by South Korea of billions of dollars in American military equipment", the White House said.

President Donald Trump is weighing whether to terminate a free trade agreement with South Korea, an important USA ally in Asia.

North Korea defends its weapons programmes as necessary to counter perceived USA aggression, such as recent air manoeuvres with South Korean and Japanese jets.

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