19:42 GMT +314 December 2019
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    President Donald Trump, left, speaks as South Korean President Moon Jae-in looks on during a joint news conference at the Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017

    Seoul to Buy 'Tremendous' Amount of US Military Equipment - Trump

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - South Korea has agreed to purchase a significant amount of US military equipment, President Donald Trump told reporters as he welcomed South Korean President Moon Jae-in to the White House on Thursday.

    "President Moon [Jae-in] and South Korea have agreed to purchase a tremendous amount of our military equipment, from jet fighters to missiles, to lots of other things", Trump said.

    Moon is in Washington to meet with Trump to discuss a range of mutual interests, including North Korea, trade, military purchases and other matters. Trump said Moon would meet with other key US government officials throughout the day.

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    The South Korean leader earlier this morning met with Vice President Mike Pence, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

    Last week, US Acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan said that Washington is not reducing the extent of its military exercises with South Korea, but is building up its military capability.

    On 2 March, the US Defence Department said the United States and South Korea had agreed to stop their Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint exercises after telephone talks between Shanahan and Jeong. Two days later, the nine-day joint command post drills named Dong Maeng (Alliance) began in place of the large-scale Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises that North Korea had repeatedly slammed as preparations for invasion.

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    South Korea handed the wartime operational control over its forces to the United States in 1950 after the Korean war of the 1950-1953 broke out.

    In 1994, Seoul regained the operational control in the peace time, while since 2007, Seoul has several times attempted to regain both the wartime command, however, the date for the transfer was postponed several times. The transfer is currently discussed to be carried out in 2020s. The United States keeps over 28,000 troops in South Korea on a permanent basis.

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    Tags:
    equipment, purchase, military, Moon Jae-in, Donald Trump, United States
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