President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump agreed at their summit to seek global pressure on North Korea to force the communist regime to come back to denuclearization talks, both sides announced Wednesday.
"The two presidents urged North Korea to abandon its illicit weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, which deepen its diplomatic isolation and economic hardship," Cheong Wa Dae and the White House said in a joint press statement.
"The two presidents affirmed their full support and commitment to coordinated global pressure to bring North Korea back to authentic and credible denuclearization talks. The two leaders noted that North Korea now poses a threat to the entire world and are committed to faithfully and thoroughly implement all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions," it said.
The statement also said that Trump emphasized that his top priority is protecting the US and its allies against North Korean aggression, and he remains prepared to use a full range of military capabilities, both nuclear and conventional, to defend against the growing threat from North Korea.
"President Trump and President Moon are committed to the need for China to exert its unique leverage to make a diplomatic solution possible," it said.
The statement said the two leaders decided to further strengthen the alliance's defensive posture and capabilities through the acquisition of advanced military equipment and the enhanced deployment of United States strategic military assets in and around South Korea on a rotational basis.
"President Trump acknowledged the Republic of Korea's adoption of its Revised Missile Guidelines 2017 to remove payload restrictions on Republic of Korea ballistic missiles to combat the nature of the North Korean threat," it said. "President Trump highlighted the successful alliance deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense system."
The statement said that Moon shared his plan to substantially increase defense spending by 2022, the statement said, adding it will help cover the South's planned purchase of advanced US military hardware, such as F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, Global Hawk high-altitude UAV, and AEGIS combat systems.
On economic and trade issues, the statement said that Trump underscored the need to rebalance the free trade agreement between the two countries in order to "reduce the substantial US trade deficit" with the South and to achieve more expanded, balanced and reciprocal trade.
"President Trump and President Moon instructed their trade officials to conclude an improved agreement expeditiously," it said.
The statement said Trump congratulated Moon on the upcoming February 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, and highlighted US support for a successful Olympic Games. The two leaders also stated that they look forward to meeting again to continue close coordination on North Korea and other important bilateral issues at a mutually convenient time, it said. (Yonhap)