US President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, hold a telephone conversation to call for a boost in joint military capabilities.
On Monday, the two world leaders called for maximizing pressure on the reclusive state over its nuclear and missile tests.
According to a White House statement, Trump gave “conceptual approval” for South Korea to enable the country to purchase billions of dollars of weapons from Washington.
As the United States commander in chief, he gave his “in principle” approval to lift restriction on Seoul’s missile payload capabilities.
Both leaders “underscored the grave threat that North Korea’s latest provocation poses to the entire world” and agreed “to maximize pressure on North Korea using all means at their disposal,” according to the statement.
The president’s “fire and fury,” policy towards Pyongyang has so far failed to change the North Korean leaders’ mind.Pyongyang recently announced the test of a hydrogen bomb, despite Trump’s warnings.
In response, the US has threatened to get engaged in a “massive military” operation against the Asian nuclear power.
Russia and China have, for their parts, called for de-escalation of the situation.
‘US wants no war’
At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council,the US envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, asserted that North Korea’s repeated threats against the US and its regional allies and interests prove that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is “begging for war.”
“War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited,” Haley said. “The United States will look at every country that does business with North Korea as a country, that is giving aid to their reckless and dangerous nuclear intentions.”
President Trump has sought willingness to be briefed about the military options available to face what the West considers North Korea’s nuclear threat.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have heightened since Washington recently engineered tougher sanctions in the United Nations Security Council over the North’s testing of two intercontinental ballistic missiles.