To counter N. Korea, South seeks U.S. nod to bol­ster arms

Miami Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea an­nounced Sat­ur­day that it will soon start talks with the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion about al­low­ing Seoul to build more pow­er­ful bal­lis­tic mis­siles to counter the North, but cur­rent and for­mer U.S. of­fi­cials said the move would have lit­tle ef­fect on the most ur­gent prob­lem fac­ing Wash­ing­ton: North Korea’s ap­par­ent abil­ity to strike Cal­i­for­nia and be­yond.

The South’s newly elected pres­i­dent, Moon Jae-in, called for the re­lax­ation of lim­its on its mis­sile arse­nal hours af­ter the North launched an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile, or ICBM, 2,200 miles into space. Ex­perts quickly cal­cu­lated that the demon­strated range of that test shot, if flat­tened out over the Pa­cific, could eas­ily reach Los An­ge­les and per­haps as far as Chicago and New York, though its ac­cu­racy is in doubt.

The new mis­siles that South Korea wants, in ad­di­tion to be­ing able to strike deep into the North, could be a way of pressuring China to

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