US South Korea Arms Deal: US President Donald Trump, announced to the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, on the US agreement of sales of weapons to South Korea and military equipment worth billions of dollars, as well as the lifting of restrictions on the weight of warheads deployed in the Republic of Korea. This was declared in the statement of the press service of the White House, distributed on Monday following the telephone conversation between the leaders of the two countries.
“The leaders stressed the serious threat that North Korea poses to the whole world in the light of its latest provocation, they agreed to maximize the pressure on North Korea using all available means,” the statement says.
“President Trump gave his affirmative in principle to the initiative put forward by the South Korea to lift restrictions on the combat load of its missiles. President Trump also principally approved the purchase of military equipment and weapons worth billions of dollars,” the document says.
US – South Korea Arms Deal: US Defence Industry Awaiting Purchase Orders
Against the backdrop of the activation of North Korea’s missile and nuclear program, the Ministry of Defense of Japan requested a boost record military budget. According to the agency’s estimates, 5.25 trillion yen (almost $ 48 billion) is needed to maintain the Japanese Defense Forces and purchase new weapons. In the same week, a similar request came from the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Korea – for about $ 38.2 billion.
US South Korea Arms Deal: The Anxiety over North Korea
The motives of the defence departments of Japan and South Korea are quite clear: starting from 2011, when Kim Jong-un came to power in the country, North Korea conducted three nuclear tests and about 50 launches of ballistic missiles. Every year they become more and more perfect, and in 2018 the country should be able to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a nuclear warhead.
The situation on the Korean peninsula remains extremely tense. In July, North Korea twice tested ballistic missiles. In turn, the USA and its allies are constantly carrying out large-scale naval exercises in the region.
But the leadership of North Korea makes it clear that it is not going to turn off the tests under any circumstances. After all, for Pyongyang, the nuclear missile program is not only a guarantee of the security of the state and the stability of the existing social and political system but also a significant trump card, which is sometimes used to obtain economic and humanitarian assistance.
The North Korean nuclear missile program is one of the most important factors affecting the approval of military budgets by legislators of Japan and South Korea. Seoul “is alarmed by the trajectory of Kim Jong-un and his ballistic missiles, so this time the legislature can more likely support the request for an increase in defence spending. In Japan, the increase in the military budget was approved by the parliament five times in a row. A similar situation is observed in South Korea. With South Korea and Japan ready to further propel their defence budgets, US defence industry is keenly looking forward to new orders.
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