United States to Deploy Four Additional THAAD Systems in South Korea

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

They urged more efforts to pressure North Korea to abandon what they called its "current threatening and destabilizing path".

"There is no change in the government's position to make the final decision on whether the THAAD system will be deployed (in South Korea) after carrying out the general environmental impact assessment of the entire site thoroughly and fairly", the ministry said. No mention was made of other retaliatory measures, such as the possible use of force. The White House announced today that they have given "conceptual approval" for removing a limit on the sort of warheads South Korea is allowed to have.

Thousands of demonstrators formed a human chain around the US embassy in Seoul in June, with protesters holding signs which read "Koreans hate THAAD" and "Yes to peace talks", as well as banners aimed at US President Donald Trump ahead of his visit to the country.

South Koreans have taken to the streets in recent months to protest the missile defense system, anxious by the escalation of the current crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera discussed North Korea's September 2 test of a nuclear device in a telephone conversation yesterday, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said.

Geng Shuang, the Ministry's spokesman, stated during a press conference held late this afternoon that deployment of the missile defence system will only serve to sabotage the regional balance and exacerbate tension in the Korean Peninsula, thepaper.com reported. South Korean officials, however, appear to be lining up to play host to yet more U.S. military asserts, including potentially bringing nuclear arms back into the country.

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Geng urged South Korea and the U.S. to stop the deployment of THAAD, adding that its powerful radar could probe Chinese territory and therefore undermine the country's security.

And for good reason: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned that the missile launch was "the first step of the military operation of the [Korean People's Army] in the Pacific and a meaningful prelude to containing Guam".

The placing of additional THAAD launchers will likely trigger an angry response from area residents and activists who have opposed the system.

The system has a radar that can see deep into Chinese territory.

Mr Putin told him the North Korean problem should be solved diplomatically, according to Seoul's presidential office. He said it "offers a genuine way to defuse the tensions and a step-by-step settlement".

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.

The United States on Monday launched a bid at the UN Security Council to quickly slap the "strongest possible measures" on North Korea in response to its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, but China and Russian Federation argued that diplomatic talks were needed to address the crisis.

  • Sonia Alvarado