Trump says he’ll allow Japan, South Korea to buy more military equipment from the U.S.


President Donald Trump has responded to North Korea’s stepped-up nuclear testing by escalating his own rhetoric, promising last month to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if North Korea fails to stop its provocative behavior.

By LOUIS NELSON

 South Korea and Japan will be allowed to increase their purchases of U.S. military equipment, President Donald Trump announced via Twitter on Tuesday morning, days after North Korea claimed it tested a hydrogen bomb.

“I am allowing Japan & South Korea to buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States,” Trump wrote.

A White House readout of Trump’s Monday call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in had hinted at the president’s announcement, sharing that the U.S. president had “provided his conceptual approval for the purchase of many billions of dollars’ worth of military weapons and equipment from the United States by South Korea.”

North Korea’s reported test of a hydrogen bomb over the weekend further escalated tensions between the regime of leader Kim Jong Un and the U.S. and its allies, principally South Korea and Japan. The nuclear device detonated Sunday by North Korea was significantly more powerful than its predecessors, and its test came after weeks of ballistic missile testing by Pyongyang.

Trump has responded to North Korea’s stepped-up nuclear testing by escalating his own rhetoric, promising last month to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if North Korea fails to stop its provocative behavior. Kim’s regime responded in kind, threatening to attack Guam, the U.S. territory in the Pacific most vulnerable to a North Korean missile strike, with an “enveloping fire.” Over the weekend, Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned North Korea of a “massive military response” if it continues to threaten the U.S. or its allies with an attack.

North Korea’s missile testing also prompted a fresh round of sanctions from the United Nations Security Council, a package that was notable for its support from China and Russia, the two nations whose veto power typically protects the Kim regime. Trump has called on China, North Korea’s chief trade partner and international benefactor, to rein in the Kim regime’s missile program and bombastic rhetoric.

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