South Korea seeks more U.S. weapons amid reports of another North Korea nuclear test

S. Korea seeks stronger weapons

A new North Korean missile test could be imminent. A report Tuesday morning says North Korea is moving what appears to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) toward a launch pad on the country's west coast. 

The U.S. is pushing for "the strongest possible" sanctions against Kim Jong Un's regime over its sixth and largest nuclear test, carried out on Sunday. Any new sanctions could target the North's vital oil supply. 

South Korea supports those tougher sanctions, because any military response would almost certainly involve horrific loss of life in Seoul, which is less than 35 miles from the border with North Korea. With the potential for war mounting on the peninsula, South Korea is pushing for more powerful weapons, reports CBS News' Ben Tracy. 

For the second day in a row, South Korea showed off its firepower. First, it was the army and air force. On Tuesday, it was the navy conducting live fire drills off the country's east coast. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and President Trump spoke on the phone and agreed to lift restrictions that will allow Seoul to increase the explosive power of its missiles and to buy billions more in U.S.-made weapons.
At an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting on Monday, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley urged diplomacy but warned that U.S. patience with Kim is "not unlimited."

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"He is begging for war. War is never something the United States wants. We don't want it now. But our country's patience is not unlimited," Haley said.
A U.S. intelligence official told CBS News that North Korea's underground blast Sunday was "a test of an advanced nuclear device" but the U.S. government has not said whether it was a hydrogen bomb as North Korea has claimed. The U.S. also has not verified whether the miniaturized thermonuclear warhead, shown in pictures released by North Korea, is the real thing or just a model.

"Waking up one morning and deciding, 'I am going to fire off a hydrogen bomb at the U.S. just for kicks,' why would you waste your time? Why not just blow it up on yourself?" said Daniel Pinkston, an expert on North Korea's weapons program. 

North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations described his country's recent missile launches and nuclear test as "gift packages" to the United States. He promised there will be more if the U.S. keeps provoking North Korea. 

It's not entirely clear what "tougher" sanctions on North Korea might mean. The South Korean president has suggested cutting off North Korea's oil supply. Most of that comes from China, and China has signaled it doesn't think more sanctions are the solution. It wants the U.S. to sit down and talk to North Korea.

On Tuesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he was open to a direct dialog with North Korea, but now was not the time for it.