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