Trump, top advisers to meet on North Korea on Sunday - White House

Lucy Bush
September 4, 2017

In phone call Friday, Trump and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in agreed to enhance Seoul's deterrence against North Korea by boosting its missile capabilities, Yonhap reported, citing Seoul's presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae.

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

Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the North's ruling Workers' Party, issued sarcastic remarks in a commentary on Saturday (2 September), saying the allies' military drills to detect and destroy the reclusive state's transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) was nothing by "laughable".

Calls are also mounting in South Korea for Seoul to build nuclear weapons of its own to defend itself as nuclear-armed North Korea's missile stand-off with the USA escalates.

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North Korea sharply raised regional tension this week with the launch of its Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific.

That followed the test launch of two long-range ballistic missiles in July in a sharply lofted trajectory that demonstrated a potential range of 10,000 km (6,000 miles) or more that would put many parts of the USA mainland within striking distance.

Both praised the South Korean-U.S. coordination in response to North Korean missile threats in recent days, Gesecki said.

South Korea, home to Samsung, Hyundai and Kia among other companies with household names, is a major exporter of electronics and automobiles to the United States.

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North Korea, which carries out its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions and sanctions, said in an announcement on state television that a hydrogen bomb test ordered by leader Kim Jong Un was a "perfect success" and a "meaningful" step in completing the country's nuclear weapons programs.

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

Seoul is now allowed to possess ballistic missiles with a range of 800 kilometres and payload of 500 kilogrammes, but it wants the weight limit raised to 1,000 kilogrammes. "The puppets in South Korea will never avoid catastrophes as long as they continue to run amok", Rodong Sinmun said in the commentary.

Currently, South Korea hosts 28,500 US troops tasked with defending the country.

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

Other reports by Info About Network

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