In US Pentagon, South Korea review missile size guidelines

Current guidelines limit the destructive capabilities of South Korea's own missiles, but Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the restrictions might be altered.

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A July 29, 2017 handout from Seoul's Defense Ministry shows US Army missiles firing into the East Sea. The Pentagon is reviewing the size warheads Seoul can deploy amid continued saber-rattling from North Korea play

A July 29, 2017 handout from Seoul's Defense Ministry shows US Army missiles firing into the East Sea. The Pentagon is reviewing the size warheads Seoul can deploy amid continued saber-rattling from North Korea

(South Korean Defence Ministry/AFP)
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The Pentagon is working with South Korea to review guidelines governing the size of missile warheads Seoul can deploy, an official said Monday, setting the stage for the South to boost its missiles' power.

Current guidelines limit the destructive capabilities of South Korea's own missiles, but Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the restrictions might be altered.

"It is a topic under active consideration here and I would tell you that we would be favorably inclined to do anything which furthers the defensive capabilities of South Korea," Davis told reporters.

"We have the ability to adapt and we will always adapt to the threat as it changes."

The announcement comes a day after President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-In spoke on the phone and agreed the North "poses a grave and growing direct threat," according to a White House statement.

North Korea last month conducted two intercontinental ballistic missile tests, after which Kim boasted that he could now strike any part of the United States.

The Pentagon did not immediately provide additional information on the warhead limits set forth in current guidelines.

An official said the guideline revisions were being coordinated in conjunction with the State Department.

The UN Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions against North Korea over the weekend that could cost Pyongyang $1 billion a year.

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