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Published On: Wed, Aug 9th, 2017

US might “allow” South Korea to to develop more advanced ballistic missiles

nsnbc : The administration of South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in requested Washington, in late June, to amend the current US – Republic of Korea missile guidelines, to “allow” Seoul to develop ballistic missiles with a longer range and bigger warheads. The Pentagon responded positively to “Seoul’s request”.

Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis (archives)

Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis (archives)

Seoul’s request came amidst renewed missile tests carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – North Korea. The current agreement between the Republic of Korea (ROK) – South Korea and the United States of America (USA) was last revised in 2012.

In its current form it “allows” South Korea to develop ballistic missiles with a reach of up to 800 kilometers mounting a warhead of no more than 500 kilogram. The administration of President Moon Jae-in expressed that recent developments in North Korea have rendered South Korea’s missiles inadequate and asked Washington to allow an upgrade.

With semantics being an important aspect in diplomacy and bilateral relations, and with semantics dictating syntax, Seoul’s “request” clearly shows which one of the two “partners” has the final say on defense issues. It is also this type of hubris that provides free ammunition to Pyongyang when it wants to denounce the US as imperialist aggressor and occupier.

Nobody was surprised when Washington “responded positively” to Seoul’s “request” saying it is working closely with Seoul to “see if restrictions could be lifted” to bolster the US-ally’s defensive capabilities.

It should be noted that the United States still has the “supreme wartime command” over South Korea’s armed forces and that Seoul’s command over South Korea’s armed forces in peacetime is hypothetical (some say cosmetic)  as long as there hasn’t been signed a peace treaty between Seoul and Pyongyang.

Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said the US was “actively considering South Korea’s request” to double the maximum payload limit on its missile warheads from the current 500 kilogram to 1 ton.

CH/L – nsnbc 09.08.2017

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