Donald Trump, South Korea's Moon agree to boost Seoul's missile capability

Earthquake and Volcano of the Korea Monitoring Division Director Ryoo Yong-gyu speaks to the media about North Korea’s artificial earthquake with a map of the Korean peninsular in Seoul South Korea Sunday Sept. 3 2017. North Korea said it set off

South Korean President Moon Jae In on Sunday ordered maximum retaliatory measures be taken against North Korea following its sixth nuclear test conducted earlier in the day, Moon's top national security adviser said.

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.

Calls are also mounting in the South 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.

"The two leaders noted the need to strengthen the Republic of Korea's defense capabilities to counter provocations and threats from North Korea, and reached an agreement in principle to revise the "missile guideline" to the extent hoped by the South Korean side", South Korean news agency Yonhap quoted South Korean presidential spokesman Park Soo-hyun as saying.

Trump, who has warned that the USA military is "locked and loaded" in case of further North Korean provocation, reacted angrily to the latest missile test, declaring on Twitter that "talking is not the answer" to resolving the crisis.

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

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South Korea's development of its ballistic missiles is limited to range of 800 kilometres (500 miles) and payload weight of 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) under a bilateral treaty revised in 2012.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula are at their highest point in years after a series of missile tests by Pyongyang.

Republican senator Ben Sasse is taking aim at Donald Trump's perspective on global trade, characterizing it as dated and out-of-touch, following reports that the president is considering withdrawing from a free trade deal with South Korea.

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

South Korean President Moon Jae-In has previously urged limits on Seoul's missiles to be loosened in a conversation with Trump.

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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