SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Tuesday acknowledged the possibility of a need to purchase advanced U.S. weapons systems in the future as part of efforts to enhance its deterrence against North Korean provocations but dismissed any immediate plan to spend "many billions of dollars" as suggested by Washington.
In a short statement released after a telephone conversation between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump late Monday, the White House said the U.S. president has provided "his conceptual approval for the purchase of many billions of dollars' worth of military weapons and equipment" by South Korea.
Park Soo-hyun, spokesman for South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, said the U.S. appeared to be referring to the allies' earlier discussions on upgrading South Korea's own defense capabilities.
"In their discussions so far, the two leaders have shared a view that there is a need to upgrade South Korea's defense capabilities, including an early establishment of its three-axis defense system, to counter threats from North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, and agreed to continue their cooperation to that end," the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said in a statement.
The three-axis defense system refers to South Korea's own kill chain, missile defense system and massive retaliation capabilities.
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