The U.S. will allow Japan and South Korea to purchase a “substantially increased” amount of advanced military armaments, President Donald Trump said late Tuesday.
The announcement follows North Korea’s detonation on Sunday of its largest ever nuclear bomb, which it claims to have been a long-feared hydrogen bomb capable of being placed on a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile.
“I am allowing Japan & South Korea to buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States,” the American president said on Twitter.
A White House provided readout of Trump’s call with South Korean President Moon Jae-In hinted that the announcement was forthcoming. It said Monday that Trump “provided his conceptual approval for the purchase of many billions of dollars’ worth of military weapons and equipment from the United States by South Korea”.
The North’s Sunday test, which was its largest nuclear detonation, was met with worldwide condemnation, and drew a stern rebuke from Defense Secretary James Mattis who warned that any threat to the U.S. or its allies “will be met with a massive military response — a response both effective and overwhelming”.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an international summit in China, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that further economic sanctions on the North are unlikely to deter its pursuit of nuclear weapons.—Agencies