President Trump’s intention to loosen restrictions on South Korea’s maximum payload for missiles appears to have been built around the idea that it would lead to more US arms sales. President Trump is already bragging it was worth “many billions of dollars.”
This is likely to be the case, as the move makes South Korea’s top of the line missiles broadly obsolete, and is intended to set the stage for a major new round of US arms sales, with bigger US missiles being sold to the South Koreans, and well-connected arms makers profiting.
Officials are presenting this as a chance for South Korea to bolster its defenses against North Korea amid mounting tension. In practice, both sides are already well-armed enough that an exchange of fire would devastate both nations.
Historically such arms buys have been mostly done to curry favor with the US, as recent administrations have made increasing such sales a top priority. US missile makers will benefit, and that will keep defense industry lobbyists happy.