US, South Korea speak after North's nuclear test

Even without nukes military conflict with N. Korea will turn South into desert

Even without nukes military conflict with N. Korea will turn South into desert

The United States and South Korea agreed Friday to increase Seoul's missile capabilities just days after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan and threatened further launches, Seoul's Yonhap news agency reported.

The admiral commended the professionalism of South Korean air force personnel involved in an August 30 training mission that included live-fire weapons drops on the Pilsung Range by South Korean F-15K's, U.S. Air Force B-1B strategic bombers, and U.S. Marine Corps F-35B fifth-generation fighters, Gesecki said.

Trump has insisted that "all options" are on the table in an implied threat of pre-emptive military action, while on Thursday, US heavy bombers and stealth jet fighters took part in a joint live fire drill in South Korea intended as a show of force.

North Korea, which carries out its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions and sanctions, said in an announcement on state television that a hydrogen bomb test ordered by leader Kim Jong Un was a "perfect success" and a "meaningful" step in completing the country's nuclear weapons programs. To protect South Korean citizens and US forces, she added, they discussed the alliance's decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, which she emphasized is a purely defensive capability.

South Korea's development of its ballistic missiles is limited to range of 800 kilometres (500 miles) and payload weight of 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) under a bilateral treaty revised in 2012. "President Trump provided his conceptual approval of planned purchases by South Korea of billions of dollars in American military equipment".

"The two leaders agreed to the principle of revising the missile guideline to a level desired by South Korea, sharing the view that it was necessary to strengthen South Korea's defence capabilities in response to North Korea's provocations and threats", South Korea's presidential Blue House said.

Peace with Pakistan is our national agenda: Ashraf Ghani
In February, Pakistan closed the border with Afghanistan for more than a month after an attack on a Sufi shrine killed 88 people. Like most Muslim countries, Afghanistan is celebrating Eid on Friday, while in Pakistan it is being celebrated on Saturday.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula are at their highest point in years after a series of missile tests by Pyongyang.

Washington wants to change the South Korea deal to help cut its trade deficit with Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The announcement from Pyongyang came a few hours after global seismic agencies detected a manmade quake near the North's test site, which Japanese and South Korean officials said was around 10 times more powerful than the tremor picked up after its last test a year ago.

South Korea is now banned from building its own nuclear weapons under a 1974 atomic energy deal it signed with Washington.

After the latest missile test, however, Trump said that negotiations with Pyongyang were "not the answer".

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