US, South Korea agree to boost Seoul's defenses amid North Korea threat

US, South Korea agree to boost Seoul's defenses amid North Korea threat

North Korea has been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US and has recently threatened to land missiles near the US Pacific territory of Guam.

President Donald Trump has told members of his administration to prepare to exit a free trade agreement with South Korea, though he has yet to announce whether he will go through with the plan.

Last week, North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un ordered the production of more rocket warheads and engines, shortly after the United States suggested that its threats of military action and sanctions were having an impact on Pyongyang's behavior.

According to AFP, the South Korean president has previously urged limits on Seoul's missiles to be loosened in a conversation with Trump - and the Pentagon had said it was "actively" considering the revision.

South Korea and the United States are reportedly discussing a rotational deployment of US stealth jets to South Korea in response to growing threats from North Korean missiles and nuclear weapons.

The United States has agreed to help South Korea build up its missile capabilities and "reached an agreement in principle to revise the "missile guideline".

Ahn Cheol-soo the leader of the minor opposition People's Party speaks during a party meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul on Sept. 3 2017
US, South Korea agree to boost Seoul's defenses amid North Korea threat

North Korea fired a Hwasong-12 missile - reportedly capable of carrying a nuclear payload - that traveled almost 2,700 kilometers into the Pacific and triggered alert warnings as it flew over northern Japan. He has complained about an increasing trade deficit with South Korea.

Technically, both the countries remain at war since a truce was declared to end the 1950-1953 Korean War but was never followed by a peace agreement.

Still, the South Korean president continued to emphasize the importance of dialogue with its neighbor in the phone call with his American counterpart.

In July, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that since 2012, the trade deficit in goods with South Korea has doubled from $13.2 billion to $27.6 billion, while exports of U.S. goods to South Korea have gone down.

It is, however, to be noted that earlier this week, in response to North Korea's missile launch, Trump said on Twitter that talking to North Korea was "not the answer".

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.

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