The big-ticket arms agreement announced by US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul on Tuesday includes the acquisition of US nuclear submarines and advanced “reconnaissance” technology.
Korea JoongAng Daily says Moon’s administration will be moving ahead with the deals, which are part of massive advanced arms purchases from the US by South Korea to counter a growing North Korean military threat.
Yoon Young-chan, Moon’s senior secretary for public affairs, was quoted as saying the two leaders ordered their officials to immediately begin discussions on Korea’s acquisition and development of advanced military assets, including US reconnaissance technology.
“We will follow through with arms deals already made by the previous administration,” a senior presidential official told JoongAng. “The Moon administration will also have additional talks with the United States on advanced strategic assets.”
“They include nuclear-powered submarines that we have discussed for some time and advanced reconnaissance assets,” he said. “We will have a close consultation on these two new projects.”
The new reconnaissance assets could include aircraft and satellite-based surveillance technology.
The US and South Korea have been actively discussing the transfer of US nuclear submarine technology since the summer. The subs would reportedly be built in South Korean shipyards using US designs and systems.
“We agreed to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue peacefully and establish a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Moon said at a joint press conference with Trump at the Blue House on Tuesday. “We also reaffirmed the principle to jointly and sternly respond to the escalating North Korean nuclear and missile threats with overwhelming supremacy of power.”
Moon also said he and Trump agreed to expand and reinforce the rotational deployment of the US strategic assets to the peninsula and nearby regions and finalized an earlier decision to completely lift a limit on Korean missiles’ payloads.
Trump is on a 12-day visit to Asia.