UPDATE : 2019.7.17 WED 17:50
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Moon, Trump agree to build up deterrence, urge N. Korea to give up nukes

The presidents of South Korea and the United States agreed Tuesday to completely remove the limit on the payload of South Korean ballistic missiles, a move aimed at building up their joint deterrence against provocative North Korea.

The agreement came at a bilateral summit between President Moon Jae-in and President Donald Trump at the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

"The heads of South Korea and the United States reached a final agreement on removing the limit on missile payloads," Moon said in a joint press conference with the U.S. president.

Trump arrived here earlier Tuesday on a state visit, becoming the first U.S. president to do so in 25 years.

The leaders also agreed to expand the rotational deployment of U.S. strategic assets to South Korea and its surrounding areas, Moon said at the nationally televised press conference.

"We also agreed to immediately begin negotiations on South Korea's development and acquisition of the most advanced military surveillance assets," he added.

Moon said he and the U.S. leader reaffirmed their resolve to peacefully end the North Korean nuclear standoff.

They, however, stressed the importance of having what they called "overwhelming" strength over North Korea.

"We are showing great strength and I think they (North Korea) understand we have unparalleled strength. With that being said, I really believe it makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and make a deal that is good for the people of North Korea and people of the world," Trump said.

The U.S. president said his country and South Korea will continue to work together to defend what they have worked so hard to build.

"We cannot allow North Korea to threaten all that we have built. We have built it very much together and we are very proud of it, also together," he said.

Trump's trip to the country came about two months after the North staged its sixth and most powerful nuclear test so far on Sept. 3.

The U.S. leader urged all countries, including China and Russia, to faithfully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions aimed at punishing and isolating the communist state.

"All nations must implement U.N. Security Council regulations and cease trade and business entirely with North Korea. It is unacceptable that nations would help arm and finance an increasingly dangerous regime," he said.

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koeapost.com

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