North Korea's nuclear, missile programs 'serious threat' to security: Pentagon chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday said North Korea's nuclear and missile programs pose a global threat, after Pyongyang's unveiling of previously unseen intercontinental ballistic missiles at a predawn military parade. The appearance of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) during a weekend parade in North Korea captivated many Western analysts

Reuters October 15, 2020 00:11:14 IST
North Korea's nuclear, missile programs 'serious threat' to security: Pentagon chief

North Koreas nuclear missile programs serious threat to security Pentagon chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday said North Korea's nuclear and missile programs pose a global threat, after Pyongyang's unveiling of previously unseen intercontinental ballistic missiles at a predawn military parade.

The appearance of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) during a weekend parade in North Korea captivated many Western analysts. But officials in South Korea were far more concerned by the display of new multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) and fast, maneuverable short-range missiles that would be ideal for striking targets in the South.

Speaking before the start of a meeting with his South Korean counterpart at the Pentagon, Esper said; "We agree that North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs remain a serious threat to the security and stability of the region and the world."

"The United States remains committed to the security of the Republic of Korea," Esper said.

He added, however, that South Korea and the United States must find a more equitable way of sharing defense costs so it "doesn't fall unequally on the American taxpayers."

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has touted his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has repeatedly said Seoul should pay for a larger share of the cost of U.S. military forces deployed in the South.

Some 28,500 American troops are deployed in South Korea, in what is seen as a deterrent to Pyongyang that also sends a message to China about U.S. influence and capability in Asia.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Tom Brown)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.