Trump, Moon agree to boost South Korean missile capabilities

Posted September 05, 2017

Beyond the economic impact, top members of Trump's national security team have expressed concerns it could divide what is presently a united coalition of nations in the region confronting North Korea over its nuclear program.

US President Donald Trump on Saturday hinted that he was considering withdrawing from the US-South Korea free trade agreement, risking tension between the allies as they attempt to deal with the crisis in North Korea.

The US has periodically sent strategic assets to South Korea, including B-1B bombers, as a show of force when North Korea's provocative acts are escalated.

Chung added that he had talked with H.R. McMaster, the US national security adviser, both before and after South Korea's National Security Council held a meeting.

Trump and Moon spoke on the phone Friday about North Korean's "continued destabilizing and escalatory behavior", the White House said in a statement.

North Korea said on Sunday it has developed a more advanced nuclear weapon that has "great destructive power" and leader Kim Jong Un inspected a hydrogen bomb that will be loaded on a new intercontinental ballistic missile. H-bombs are also harder to develop.

"It is believed that the United States is positive toward rotational deployment of F-22 and F-35B jets over Korea as it remains firm in countering North Korea's provocations", a government source said.

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The Washington Post reported Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and national security adviser Lt. Gen.

The mainland's foreign ministry said it would comprehensively implement the resolutions, with a firm stance on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Dow Jones reported.

It came as the US and South Korean forces were nearing the end of the 10-day annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint exercises, which the North regards as a rehearsal for invasion.

"He reaffirmed the ironclad USA commitment to the Mutual Defense Treaty, which states that a North Korean attack on one is an attack on both nations", she said.

The quake detected around the North's Punggye-ri nuclear test site came after Seoul's intelligence officials said that Pyongyang appears ready for what would be its sixth nuclear test following the two tests previous year.

-CNBC's Nyshka Chandran contributed to this article.