Trump says to approve lifting restrictions on South Korea missile payload limits

Trump says to approve lifting restrictions on South Korea missile payload limits

Lindsey Duncan
September 7, 2017

They will be installed this week, despite protests from residents who have cited numerous concerns over the missile defense system.

North Korea's detonation of a hydrogen bomb on Sunday marked its most powerful nuclear test to date. The protesters said the deployment will begin at 2 a.m. Thursday, but the Defense Ministry refused to confirm the time.

The ministry did not specify when the launchers would be moved onto the site.

The announcement came three days after North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, jolting not only South Korea and the USA but also its ally China.

THAAD is an acronym for Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, a US-designed anti-ballistic missile defence system.

President Donald Trump — in tweets after the North's test on Sunday — faulted South Korea for what he called its "talk of appeasement" toward the North, and didn't specifically mention that the obligated by treaty to defend its ally in the event of war.

Even before the Defense Ministry confirmed the deployment plan, China issued a strong protest Wednesday based on media speculation of the installation through Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in Beijing.

"We should not give in to emotions and push Pyongyang into a corner", Mr Putin said at a press conference after a meeting on the sidelines of a conference on economic development of Russia's Far East, in the port city of Vladivostok.

Thousands of police will likely be deployed on Thursday to prevent additional clashes at the site, according to Yonhap.

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"China demands that the US and South Korea respect the security interests and concerns of China and other regional countries, with an immediate stop to the deployment process and removal of the equipment", he said.

Two truck-mounted THAAD launchers and a powerful radar are already in operation at a former golf course in Seongju.

The ministry also said on Monday that it would "push for the option of deploying strategic assets such as the United States carrier strike group and strategic bombers after consultation with the United States".

A number of countries have firmly condemned North Korea's test calling for retaliation.

The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.

He complimented Mr Putin and the Russian government over what he said were diverse efforts to find diplomatic solutions to the problem.

He said it was important that all parties, including North Korea, should not face "threats of annihilation" and "step on the path of cooperation".

"To be more precise, I think it is altogether impossible", he added.

Song met with Mattis at the Pentagon on August 30, a day after North Korea shot and intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan. He said it "offers a genuine way to defuse the tensions and a step-by-step settlement".