President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump agreed Wednesday to increase the U.S. military’s spending to a record $54.9 billion by 2021, in a deal that comes amid rising tensions with North Korea.
The deal also includes $8 billion for missile defense and $7 billion for a new F-35 fighter jet program.
The White House and Trump administration officials say the spending increase will be fully phased in over a decade and is intended to be a necessary counterbalance to North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs.
The administration announced earlier this month that it was reducing the U,S.
troop presence in South Korea to a mere 1,500.
“As the commander-in-chief, it’s up to me to do the right thing and I will do the very best to do so,” Trump told reporters after the announcement.
The president signed the agreement during a White House visit to Texas, where he had a chance to meet with Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
“Texas is a leader in innovation and the military is the engine of the economy,” he said.
The Texas deal comes as tensions with Pyongyang continue to rise.
On Sunday, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan, triggering international condemnation.
The missile, which flew over Japan for a distance of about 300 kilometers, landed in the Sea of Japan.
The United States and Japan agreed on Saturday to hold military exercises as a warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that the United States will “act with maximum restraint and restraint is the right of any nation.”
The White Trump administration has been considering a range of options to rein in North Korea, including a military strike.