'S. Korea, US Discuss Rotational Deployment of US Stealth Jets to Korea'

Posted September 03, 2017

"Mr. Trump is not a model of consistency, so I wouldn't read too much" into what he tweeted and what he reportedly agreed upon with Moon, said Sue Mi Terry, formerly a Central Intelligence Agency analyst and National Security Council director for Korea and Japan.

"Trump and Moon pledged to continue to apply strong diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea and to make all necessary preparations to deter and defend against the growing threat posed by North Korea", it said.

In a phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday, however, the two leaders "reaffirmed their view that it was important to have North Korea come out to the dialogue table", according to Moon's spokesman Park Soo-hyun.

"President Trump provided his conceptual approval of planned purchases by South Korea of billions of dollars in American military equipment".

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South Korea's weather agency says the apparent detonation set off a magnitude 5.7 quake, making the blast five to six times stronger than the North's fifth test in September 2016.

Under a bilateral agreement with the United States, Seoul is now restricted to ballistic missiles with a maximum range of 800 kilometres (500 miles) and payload of 500 kilogrammes (1100 pounds).

The Pentagon had said it was "actively" considering the revision.

North Korea's official broadcaster announced at 3 p.m. Pyongyang time that the country successfully conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb that can be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile, marking its sixth overall nuclear test.

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The 15-member U.N. Security Council on Tuesday condemned the firing of the missile over Japan as "outrageous" and demanded that North Korea halt its weapons programs.

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

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

The South, which hosts 28,500 US troops to defend it, is banned from building its own nuclear weapons under a 1974 atomic energy deal with Washington, which instead offers a "nuclear umbrella" against potential attacks.

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