The announcement comes after the brutal regime of young despot Kim Jong-un fired yet another missile on Tuesday which crossed Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido in the boldest show of force from the DPRK in recent years.
President Trump agreed with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to revise a joint treaty capping the development of the South’s ballistic missiles, Seoul has confirmed.
According to the White House, during the conversation Trump also gave “conceptual” approval to the purchase by the South of billions of dollars of US military hardware.
A spokesperson from Prime Minister Moon’s office said: “The two leaders agreed to the principle of revising the missile guideline to a level desired by South Korea, sharing the view that it was necessary to strengthen South Korea’s defence capabilities in response to North Korea’s provocations and threats.”
US Pacific Command (PACOM) chief Admiral Harry Harris had made a similar promise during a meeting with South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo, as part of Mr Song’s five-day visit to the US.
The Ministry of National Defence said: “The US commander reaffirmed Washington’s ironclad commitment to defending South Korea in the face of North Korea’s threats.
“He said PACOM will closely consult with the South Korean government and the Joint Chiefs of Staff over all military options that can be considered.”
PACOM is in charge of commanding US forces’ military operations in the Asia-Pacific region, which includes the Korean Peninsula.
Kim has sparked fury throughout the world this year by ramping up his missile programme and continuing to threaten the United States.
Donald Trump brought tensions with North Korea to a new height as he outright threatened “fire and fury” against Pyongyang.
The US President also has grown frustrated with China, Kim’s closest ally, for its failure to rein in the despot’s missile tests.
The White House has said that North Korea “poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, as well as to countries around the world”.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also earlier this week insisted Washington will continue to seek a peaceful resolution to the North Korea crisis.
He told Fox News: “We do view [the missile tests] as a provocative act against the United States and our allies.
“We’re going to continue our peaceful pressure campaign, working with allies, working with China as well to see if we can bring the regime in Pyongyang to the negotiating table.”
The United States is technically still at war with the North because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The North says it will never give up its weapons programmes, saying they are necessary to counter hostility from the United States and its allies.