The United States and South Korea are expected in coming days to discuss amending existing restrictions on the East Asian nation's ballistic missile program, the Xinhua News Agency reported (see GSN, Jan. 19).
South Korean presidential secretary for national security Kim Tae-hyo is set to travel to Washington this weekend for meetings with Obama administration officials on Seoul's request for permission to produce longer-range weapons that could better counter possible attacks from North Korea, according to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper (see GSN, Feb. 18).
Obama officials reportedly sought the upcoming talks (Xinhua News Agency, Feb. 22).
Under a 10-year-old agreement with the United States, South Korea has pledged not to manufacture a ballistic missile with a maximum range of more than 186 miles and to not build any ballistic missile warheads weighing more than 1,100 pounds.
Kim was reticent about sharing details on his meeting with U.S. National Security Council adviser Jeffrey Bader and other Obama officials, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
"It is not appropriate to talk in advance about what will be discussed," Kim said (Lee Chi-dong, Yonhap News Agency, Feb. 22).