Newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a liberal, favors a softer approach to North Korea than his conservative predecessors | AP

New South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit the White House next month for a summit with President Donald Trump amid worries over North Korea’s progress in building a nuclear and missile arsenal, Seoul’s presidential office said Tuesday.

The agreement for the leaders to meet in late June followed a meeting in Seoul between Chung Eui-yong, Moon’s foreign policy adviser, and Matt Pottinger, the Asia director on Trump’s National Security Council, Moon’s spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.

The announcement came days after North Korea successfully tested a powerful new missile that analysts believe could reach Alaska when perfected.

Under the leadership of third-generation dictator Kim Jong Un, North Korea has been speeding up its pursuit of a decades-long goal of developing nuclear-armed missiles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

North Korea conducted two nuclear tests last year which are likely to have improved its know-how in making nuclear weapons small enough to fit on long-range missiles. Experts say the “medium long-range” Hwasong-12 missile the North fired on Sunday achieved a higher altitude and longer flight time than any other missile the country has tested.

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SOURCE: Politico, The Associated Press