WASHINGTON – US Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced yesterday that North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs pose a worldwide threat following Pyongyang revealing their previously hidden intercontinental ballistic missiles predawn military ceremony.
A newly exposed batch of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) throughout a weekend parade in North Korea surprised many Western analysts. Despite that, South Korea officials were far more concerned by displaying new multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) and fast, maneuverable short-range missiles that would be perfect for striking targets in the South.
Addressing before the start of a meeting with his South Korean counterpart at the Pentagon, Esper stated, “We agree that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs remain a serious threat to the security and stability of the region and the world.”
“The United States remains committed to the security of the Republic of Korea,” Esper said.
Though, he added that South Korea and the United States must find a more equitable way of sharing defense costs so it “doesn’t fall unequally on the American taxpayers.”
US President Donald Trump, who has touted his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has repeatedly said Seoul should pay for a more significant share of the cost of US military forces deployed in the South.
Around 28,500 American troops are deployed in South Korea, which is seen as a deterrent to Pyongyang that also sends a message to China about US influence and capability in Asia.
Clearly, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing a lack of ICBM tests by Pyongyang last year, told reporters on Wednesday there was a reduced risk to the United States from North Korea due to Trump’s policy of engagement.
Full Video Of North Korean Military Parade: