Seoul completes installation of THAAD anti-missile system

Seoul's Defense Ministry has said the US military will begin installing the additional launchers Thursday.

China is vehemently opposing the recent deployment of four additional launchers for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) missile shield in Seongju County, South Korea. The South's defence ministry confirmed on Wednesday the launchers would be installed on a former golf course near Seongju City some 217 km (135 miles) south of Seoul.

A THAAD battery normally consists of six launchers capable of firing up to 48 interceptor missiles, but only two have been operational.

Thousands of police were deployed near the THAAD site, located in a remote southeastern area of the country, to clear the way for the US convoy carrying the four additional launchers and other equipment.

Local residents have protested the THAAD deployment for fear that their town may turn into a primary target for North Korean attacks.

"At the same time, it is clear that it is impossible to resolve the problem of the Korean peninsula only by sanctions and pressure", he said.

Coping with the North Korean nuclear threat is a matter of survival for South Korea and the government made a decision to deploy the full battery to safeguard our security.

"Moreover, it will exacerbate the tensions and confrontation on the Korean Peninsula and complicate the Korean Peninsula issue", he said on Wednesday.

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"We could deliver Russian pipeline gas to Korea and integrate the power lines and railway systems of Russia, the Republic of Korea and North Korea".

On his way to participate in a tax reform event, Trump told reporters that military action against North Korea was "not a first choice, but we will see what happens", Xinhua news agency reported. "The fundamental thing for the Japanese-Russian relations is signing a peace treaty, that is what [Russian] President Putin said during his visit to Japan", Abe opined.

During their meeting in the Russian city of Vladivostok, Moon urged Putin to back stricter penalties against President Kim Jong Un's government after it successfully tested a nuclear bomb on Sunday that could be attached to an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the USA mainland.

Prior to leaving for Vladivostok to participate in the Eastern Economic Forum, Abe on Wednesday said that Japan would coordinate with Russian Federation and global community to make North Korea understand that there would be no future for the country if it continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions, Efe news reported.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in says more launchers were added to a contentious high-tech missile defense system because his country faces an unprecedented security threat from North Korea.

The leaders of South Korea and Japan are holding talks with Putin in Vladivostok on the sidelines of a conference on economic development of Russia's Far East.

Mr Putin said he believes US President Donald Trump's administration is willing to defuse tensions over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

The announcement by the Swedish Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday came hours after Mexico's government said it declared North Korean Ambassador Kim Hyong Gil as persona non grata and ordered him to leave the country within 72 hours in response to Sunday's nuke test.


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