- The Washington Times - Monday, September 4, 2017

President Trump and South Korea’s president agreed Monday to lift restrictions on Seoul’s missile payloads in response to North Korea’s reported test of a hydrogen bomb.

In a phone call, Mr. Trump and President Moon Jae-In of South Korea “agreed to maximize pressure on North Korea using all means at their disposal,” the White House said.

Mr. Trump gave “in-principle approval” to South Korea’s initiative to lift restrictions on their missile payload capabilities, the statement said. He also provided his “conceptual approval for the purchase of many billions of dollars’ worth of military weapons and equipment” by South Korea from the U.S.

“Both leaders underscored the grave threat that North Korea’s latest provocation poses to the entire world,” the statement said.

Seoul’s presidential office said Mr. Moon agreed to lift the cap on missile payload … as an effective countermeasure” against North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sunday.

Seoul was previously limited to a maximum warhead weight of 500 kilograms on its ballistic missiles, according to a 2001 agreement with the U.S.

The move came as the U.N. Security Council opened an emergency meeting to agree on a response to North Korea’s most powerful nuclear test amid calls for tougher sanctions on Pyongyang. The meeting was requested by the U.S., Britain, France, Japan and South Korea.

Mr. Trump also spoke Monday with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany about North Korea’s purported nuclear test.

“The two leaders condemned North Korea’s continued reckless and dangerous behavior and reaffirmed the importance of close coordination at the United Nations,” the White House said.

Mr. Trump said this latest provocation “only serves to increase the international community’s resolve to counter North Korea’s prohibited activities.”

“All options to address the North Korean threat are on the table,” the statement said.

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