President Moon seeks public understanding for THAAD deployment

Asian Correspondent reports in its article As Trump warns of possible war with North Korea, South Koreans doubtful that tension on the Korean peninsula has escalated sharply as North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong Un, has stepped up the development of weapons in defiance of UN sanctions and global pressure, testing a string of missiles this year and conducting its sixth nuclear test on Sunday.

The Chinese media's beating up on Korea went a step further.

Nevertheless, a Gallup Korea survey released on Friday showed South Koreans were considerably less concerned about war compared with June 2007, nine months after North Korea conducted its first nuclear test, in September 2006.

North Korea, which is pursuing its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of worldwide condemnation, said it would respond to any new U.N. sanctions and USA pressure with "powerful counter measures", accusing the United States of aiming for war.

On Thursday morning, South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo in Vladivostok where they are attending the Eastern Economic Forum, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

U.S. President Donald Trump seized the opportunity to chide Moon for his conciliatory attitude towards North Korea before these tests, tweeting on Sunday, "South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!"

The ministry made an official announcement that the four launchers were temporarily installed based on an agreement with the United States to use the system to protect the people from threats by North Korea.

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Speaking on Thursday, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said its neighbour may launch another ICBM to mark its founding.

China's Foreign Ministry demanded Thursday that the Thaad system must be removed immediately.

But neither side appears willing to budge.

Two launchers have been operational at the site since May, CNN reported.

South Korea on Thursday completed the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system, built by the United States, on its territory with the installation of four additional missile interceptors amid overnight clashes between residents and the security forces that left dozens injured.

The deployment has drawn strong objections from China, which believes the system's radar could be used to look deeply into its territory and will upset the regional security balance. "We will make necessary preparations to use the capability as soon as the internal procedures are completed on the USA side".

South Korean Marines wrapped up a three-day firing drill aimed at protecting islands just south of the border with North Korea, while the air force will finish up a week-long drill on Friday.

  • Sonia Alvarado