Trump weighing termination of South Korea free trade deal

President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump with him responds “We’ll see,” as he is asked a question about attacking North Korea after the Trump’s attended services at St. John’s Church in Washington Sunday Sept. 3 2017. The presi

In phone call on 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.

The admiral commended the professionalism of South Korean air force personnel involved in an August 30 training mission that included live-fire weapons drops on the Pilsung Range by South Korean F-15K's, U.S. Air Force B-1B strategic bombers, and U.S. Marine Corps F-35B fifth-generation fighters, Gesecki said.

The White House did not mention the voluntary bilateral agreement but said the two leaders agreed to strengthen their defense cooperation and South Korea's defense capabilities.

The United States is considering a rotational deployment of its stealth jets to South Korea in response to North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats, government sources said Sunday.

South Korean defense minister Song Yong-moo and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis discussed the possible redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea - weapons which were withdrawn in the early 1990's.

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

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The 1979 guideline was last amended five years ago to extend the allowed range of South Korean ballistic missiles to nearly 500 miles and increase their payload to 1,100 pounds.

The South wants the maximum warhead weight doubled to one tonne, and the Pentagon has said it was "actively" considering the revision.

The South wants to raise the missile cap to boost its defenses against the reclusive North, which is pursuing missile and nuclear weapons programs in defiance of global warnings and United Nations sanctions.

However, after a long-range rocket test by North Korea in 2012, Seoul managed to negotiate the near three-fold increase in the range limit to 800 kilometers, putting North Korean military facilities which were previously out of range within reach, as well as parts of China and Japan.

Previous U.N. penalties have resulted in Pyongyang expressing its displeasure and demonstration of its iron-clad nuclear ambition through more missile tests.

However, Trump said after the latest missile test that negotiations with Pyongyang were "not the answer".

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