US, South Korea agrees to revise bilateral missile treaty
U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have agreed to revise a bilateral treaty capping the weight and range of the South’s ballistic missiles program. In a telephonic talk held on Friday, both the presidents reaffirmed the importance of applying pressure on North Korea to refrain it from making provocations and threats and resolve the nuclear issue through peaceful dialogue.
The treaty will help South Korea develop its missile program; the country desires to raise the missile development limits to boost its defenses against North Korea. North Korea has posed a great threat to South Korea with its missile program and nuclear test in defiance to UN sanctions as well as international warnings.
Trump also has conceptually approved purchases of American military equipment worth billions dollars by South Korea. Democratic South Korea faces threats from impoverished North Korea due to their 1950-53 conflict. The conflict had ended in a truce only, but not a peace treaty. North Korea now and then gives provocative statements to destroy South Korea and its ally United States. The tension between the two countries is escalating. North Korea wants US to recognize it as a nuclear power if the US wants to develop diplomatic relations with the country.
South Korea and the US had earlier revised a bilateral treaty in 2012 which allowed South Korea to develop ballistic missiles limited to a range of up to 800 kilometers and a payload of up to 500 kilograms. The revised treaty will allow South Korea more deterrent capability which the country desires for a long time.
Treaty with South Korea to allow them develop longer range missiles could pressurize China to exert influence over North Korea as the Chinese may see it as raising a potential threat to them too.