U.S. 'Favorably Inclined' to Boosting S.Korean Missile Power

  • By Kim Deok-han

    August 09, 2017 11:53

    The U.S. Defense Department said Monday it is reviewing guidelines that limit the firepower of South Korean missiles amid accelerating missile development in North Korea.

    The announcement came a day after President Moon Jae-in told his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump over the phone that the South Korean military needs to drastically strengthen its own defense and strategic deterrence to cope with North Korean missiles.

    Asked if the Pentagon was reviewing the request, Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said, "There is currently a limit on the warhead size and missiles that South Korea can have and yes, it is a topic under active consideration here."

    "And I would tell you that we would be favorably inclined to do anything which furthers the defensive capabilities of South Korea," he said. He added the Pentagon is working with the State Department to find best ways to comply with Seoul's request.

    Under the current guidelines, South Korea is allowed only ballistic missiles with a range of less than 800 km and a payload of under 500 kg. But it now wants to increase the payload to 1 ton to improve the destructive power of missiles while maintaining the range.

    Davis said he had no idea of the revision schedule. The allies' next annual Security Consultative Meeting is in October.

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