Bipartisan group of USA senators introduces resolution welcoming Moon

South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with Richard Haass president of U.S. think tank Council on Foreign Relations in a meeting at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae

Trump has been angered by Moon's insinuations of impropriety and the purported ingratitude of South Koreans, who would be receiving a state-of-the-art defense system against North Korea's recently bolstered missile-launching capacities, and has charged that Seoul owes Washington $1 billion in THAAD expenses.

Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported Friday Tokyo has made a decision to deploy the Aegis Ashore instead, a land-based component of a missile interceptor system, because it is less costly than the purchase of a THAAD battery. But the Ministry of Defense now plans to request that THAAD-related costs be cut from the 2018 budget and only Aegis Ashore-related costs be included.

The firing involved a SM-3 Block IIA missile that's built for the Aegis Missile Defense system, which is used to shoot down medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles from ships at sea. He was accompanied by the defense minister, the veterans affairs minister, and the commanders of both Korean forces and USA troops stationed on the peninsula. As recently as a year ago, the ministry was weighing introducing both THAAD and Aegis Ashore.

Japan would also need to deploy a total of six missile interceptors across the country. An additional third system for intercepting missiles at high altitudes has also been discussed.

The Aegis Ashore, a land-based form of Aegis missile defense system, during a test in Hawaii in February.

In an interview today, South Korean President Moon Jae-in offered more details on the ongoing dispute over the US THAAD missile defense installed in the south of his country, a controversial deployment that he's been critical of. The reason China has not reacted sensitively to Japan's THAAD radar is because of the country's distance from the Chinese mainland.

The SM-3 Block IIA is not now in use by either Japan or the United States, according to the US Missile Defense Agency.

The US interviewer also said, "President Moon believes he is going to get the green light from President Trump to have these bilateral talks with North Korea, to begin this inter-Korean dialogue". The performance of the SM-3 Block 2A jointly developed by the U.S. and Japan is not ideal.

A United States and Japanese missile test conducted in Hawaii missed its target, but both militaries stopped short of calling it a failure. The first, which took place in February, was a success.

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