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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.S. considering possible revisions to South Korea's missile guidelines: Pentagon

Updated: 2017-08-08 11:52:50 KST

In light of North Korea's growing missile threat, the Moon Jae-in administration requested Washington in late-June, to amend the current missile guidelines between the two countries.

The bilateral agreement, last revised in 2012, allows South Korea to develop ballistic missiles, with a range of up to 800 kilometers mounting a warhead weighing no more than 500 kilograms.

The South Korean government now feels those limits are inadequate to keep North Korea in check, given the regime's continued advancements in its long-range missile program.

Washington has responded favorably to the request, saying it's working closely with Seoul, to see if restrictions could lifted to bolster its ally's defensive capabilities.

Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said the U.S. was "actively" considering South Korea's request to double the maximum payload limit on its missile warheads, from the current 500 kilograms to one ton.

President Trump meanwhile, is at his private golf resort in New Jersey for a 17-day vacation, but held discussions with his top aides and cabinet members regarding North Korea.

The White House said on Monday Trump had an hour-long phone call with Secretary of State of Rex Tillerson, who is in the Philippines for a regional security forum as well as his Chief of Staff John Kelly.

The American public has become increasingly worried about North Korea's nuclear aspirations, following the regime's latest ICBM test-launches.

A recent survey shows 75 percent of Americans view Pyongyang's nuclear program as a critical threat, while 90 percent, rejected the idea of North Korea being allowed to possess nuclear weapons.

Yu Joonhee, Arirang News.

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