Trump requests additional $4 billion to counter North Korea


world
 Trump requests additional $4 billion to counter North Korea

President Trump sits with U.S. Forces Korea Commander General Vincent Brooks as he meets generals at the 8th Army Operational Command Center at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday.President Donald Trump has asked Congress to approve an additional $6 billion in defense spending for fiscal year 2018 — including $4 billion "to support urgent missile defeat and defense enhancements to counter the threat from North Korea."

In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Trump also requested an additional $700 million to repair damage to U.S. Navy ships and $1.2 billion in support of the administration's South Asia strategy.

"This request supports additional efforts to detect, defeat, and defend against any North Korean use of ballistic missiles against the United States, its deployed forces, allies, or partners," the letter said.

An additional $700 million would be used to "repair damage to and restore the operational readiness of the USS John S. McCain and the USS Fitzgerald," according to the letter.

"These ships provide critical naval presence and additional ballistic missile defense capabilities in the Asia-Pacific theater," the letter said.

The guided-missile destroyers USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain collided with commercial ships in June and August, respectively, and resulted in the deaths of 17 sailors.

The $1.2 billion requested in support of the Trump administration's South Asia strategy would largely go toward funding increased troop levels in Afghanistan —allowing for the deployment of an additional 3,500 U.S. troops to the region and special operations forces capabilities.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration requested a $54 billion defense budget increase aimed at adding more ships and aircraft.

Trump's request comes during his trip to Asia, where escalating tensions with North Korea have been a focal point in meetings with various allies in the region, including South Korea and Japan.

Despite asking for additional funding to beef up American ballistic missile defense capabilities in the region, Trump said Tuesday that he believes U.S.-led international efforts to crank up the pressure on North Korea and his at-times menacing rhetoric are beginning to work.

The U.S. president did not offer any specific signs of progress, noting that his administration likes "to play our cards a little bit close to the vest." But alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a joint news conference, Trump said he believes the U.S.-led coalition is "making a lot of progress."

By: CNN

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