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U.S., South Korea: Strong response to North Korea needed

By Elizabeth Shim
U.S., South Korea: Strong response to North Korea needed
Trump’s National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster condemned North Korea's latest provocation, a failed missile launch, during a phone call with South Korea national security advisor Kim Kwan-jin on Thursday. File Photo courtesy of James E. Foehl/EPA

April 6 (UPI) -- U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, and his South Korea counterpart agreed to meet North Korea's ballistic missile threats with a strong response.

McMaster and Seoul's national security adviser Kim Kwan-jin strongly condemned the latest test-launch of a North Korea missile on Thursday during a 20-minute phone call, Yonhap news agency reported.

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The two sides agreed on close cooperation, including coordinating on measures at the United Nations Security Council, according to the report.

The deployment of THAAD, the U.S. missile defense system, was also discussed.

McMaster and Kim reaffirmed the need for deployment, a decision that was reached under the administration of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who was recently impeached and arrested in connection to a corruption scandal.

China's opposition to the deployment of THAAD may be raised as an issue during Thursday's summit between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Beijing may have sanctioned South Korean businesses and curbed the flow of Chinese tourists to South Korea because of Seoul's decision to deploy the missile defense system to deter against North Korea threats.

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McMaster told Kim North Korea's nuclear and missile threats are to be discussed during the summit, according to the report.

Trump is scheduled to host Xi at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.

North Korea provocations are expected to be a top priority, ABC reported.

The president has previously called on China to do more on North Korea, but Beijing has been hesitant to push too hard on Pyongyang.

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