Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Trump pushes hardware to allies -- and ups pressure on N.Korea
Washington (AFP) Sept 6, 2017

With global tensions spiraling over the North Korean nuclear crisis, President Donald Trump wants to pile extra pressure on Pyongyang by urging regional allies to dramatically boost spending on high-tech US military gear.

Though existing regulations preclude any sudden changes, Trump's remarks this week open the door to what could amount to a regional military buildup -- a move sure to anger China.

"I am allowing Japan & South Korea to buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States," Trump said Tuesday on Twitter.

A day earlier, he told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in that Washington is willing to approve arms sales worth "many billions of dollars" to Seoul following Pyongyang's most powerful nuclear test to date.

Tensions are soaring after Pyongyang's test Sunday of what it said was a hydrogen bomb designed for a long-range missile.

Declaring that "enough is enough," America's ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said existing measures had not worked and accused North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un of "begging for war."

And South Korea's defense minister has said it's time to reconsider whether the US should redeploy "tactical" nuclear weapons to South Korea -- the reduced-yield warheads were withdrawn in the 1990s.

Experts worry such a move would heighten the risk of a mishap or goad North Korea into conducting a first strike.

Meanwhile, the United States is lifting restrictions on South Korean missile payload capabilities, previously restricted to a maximum warhead weight of 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds).

Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said the limit had been raised to 1,000 kilograms.

- 'Not his call' -

Both South Korea and Japan already spend billions of dollars annually on US military technology. Owing to how the US approves arms sales, it is impossible to increase spending overnight.

The State Department's Foreign Military Sales program is a lengthy process in which bureaucrats vet a request before passing a prospective deal to Congress for approval.

Jim Schoff, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Trump cannot circumvent these rules.

"It's not his call to do that," Schoff told AFP. "It's Congress's call in many cases to waive the restrictions and limitations that they themselves have put on the sale of US technology."

Even after Congress approves a sale, it can take the Pentagon months or even years to flow the equipment to the purchasing country.

While Trump's words will have little immediate effect on military sales, his messages may help pressure China into taking a more assertive role in addressing North Korea's weapons program.

Beijing does not want sophisticated US radars and weapons systems on its doorstep and reacted furiously when the United States deployed the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea.

- Missile defenses -

The United States sold arms worth nearly $5 billion to South Korea between 2010 and 2016, according to an analysis by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

South Korea was the fourth biggest buyer of US arms in that period, behind Saudi Arabia, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates.

And Japan spends roughly $3 billion per year on US defense equipment and weapons systems, Schoff said.

Much of that is for high-end US weapons systems such as the F-35 stealth fighter and Global Hawk drones.

Japan could significantly boost its spending on additional F-35s or Aegis Ashore, a land-based adaptation of the maritime Aegis missile-defense system.

Japan already has Patriot batteries, which can stop lower altitude missiles, and SM-3 missiles that can take out short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles flying at higher altitudes.

Some experts are calling for the United States and its allies to shoot down future North Korean missiles.

The technology is not perfect but the Pentagon has demonstrated it can hit ICBM and intermediate-range missile targets.

An attempted shoot-down would "put the burden of risk on North Korea in challenging the United States and its allies and of escalating any potential crisis," wrote Evans Revere and Jonathan Pollack of the Brookings Institution.

Schoff said any attempt to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea was pointless, as it would amount to exposing bombs that are currently well hidden in submarines or elsewhere.

"Why would you want to take the nukes off those hard-to-find platforms, put them in a bunker with a big 'hit me here' sign on it?" he said.

Klingner, of the Heritage Foundation, said Trump's messages may have been more aimed at reassuring South Korea rather than any meaningful shift in how weapons are sold.

"In a lot cases with (South) Korea, it's: 'We want you to do something to reassure us,' and sometimes the specifics don't matter," he told AFP.

United Technologies buying Rockwell Collins for $30 billion
Washington (UPI) Sep 5, 2017
United Technologies is to acquire Rockwell Collins for $140.00 per share in cash and UTC stock - about $30 billion - the companies have announced. The deal is subject to a number of conditions, including approval by Rockwell Collins shareholders, customary conditions and regulatory approvals. "This acquisition adds tremendous capabilities to our aerospace businesses and strengt ... read more

Related Links
The Military Industrial Complex at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

What's hot and what's not at Berlin's IFA tech fair

'Star Trek' actor Shatner sends message to Voyager

ESA retrieves NASA astronauts with new procedure in wake of hurricane

Record-breaking NASA astronaut comes back to Earth

Rocket fever launches UB students to engineering competition in New Mexico

45th Space Wing carries out successful launch while Irma looms off coast

NASA Concludes Summer of Testing with Fifth Flight Controller Hot Fire

Kacific selects SpaceX to provide launch service

Discovery of boron on Mars adds to evidence for habitability

Life on Mars: Let's Try Oman Desert First for Space Mission

Opportunity seeks energy-favorable locations to recharge during winter

For Moratorium on Sending Commands to Mars, Blame the Sun

China, Russia to Have Smooth Space Cooperation, Says Expert

Kuaizhou-11 to send six satellites into space

Russia, China May Sign 5-Year Agreement on Joint Space Exploration

ESA and Chinese astronauts train together

ASTROSCALE Raises a Total of $25 Million in Series C Led by Private Companies

LISA Pathfinder: bake, rattle and roll

Bids for government funding prove strong interest in LaunchUK

Blue Sky Network Reaffirms Commitment to Brazilian Market

Artificial intelligence analyzes gravitational lenses 10 million times faster

Europe's biggest X-ray laser begins operations

Van Allen probes survive extreme radiation five years on

New microscopy method for quick and reliable 3-D imaging of curvilinear nanostructures

X-Rays Reveal Temperament of Possible Planet-Hosting Stars

Could TRAPPIST-1's Seven Earth-size Planets Have Gas Giant Siblings

Ultraviolet Light May Be Ultra Important in Search for Life

FINESSE Mission to Investigate Atmospheres of Hundreds of Alien Worlds

Jupiter's Auroras Present a Powerful Mystery

Pluto features given first official names

Juno Scientists Prepare for Seventh Science Pass of Jupiter

New Horizons Files Flight Plan for 2019 Flyby

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement