U.S. President Donald Trump agreed with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to revise a joint treaty capping the development of the South’s ballistic missiles, Moon’s office said on Saturday, amid a standoff over North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests.
Trump also gave “conceptual” approval to the purchase by the South of billions of dollars of U.S. military hardware, the White House said.
|President Trump and President Moon Jae-in during a meeting.
The South wants to raise the missile cap to boost its defenses against DPRK, which is pursuing missile and nuclear weapons programs in defiance of international warnings and UN sanctions.
“The two leaders agreed to the principle of revising the missile guideline to a level desired by South Korea, sharing the view that it was necessary to strengthen South Korea’s defense capabilities in response to posible North Korea’s threats,” South Korea’s presidential Blue House said.
South Korea’s development of its ballistic missiles is limited to range of 800 km (500 miles) and payload weight of 500 kg (1,100 pounds) under a bilateral treaty revised in 2012.
South Korea has said it wants to revise the agreement to increase the cap on the payload.
The two countries agreed to the cap as part of a commitment to a voluntary international arms-control pact known as the Missile Technology Control Regime, aimed at limiting the proliferation missiles and nuclear weapons.
The two leaders pledged to continue to apply strong diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea and to make all necessary preparations to defend against the growing threat by the North, the White House said.Reuters