Protests in South Korea as nations wrestle with North missile threat

Protests in South Korea as nations wrestle with North missile threat

South Korea's defense ministry has said the deployment is necessary because of the imminent threat from North Korea, which has launched numerous missiles since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office in early May.

Mr Moon and Mr Abe agreed to co-operate on seeking tougher United Nations sanctions against North Korea and pledged to strengthen efforts to persuade Beijing and Moscow to cut off oil supplies to the North, said Mr Moon's press secretary.

Last week, Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile that flew over the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

"We have chose to temporarily deploy the remaining launchers along with United States construction equipment and materials (...) to prepare for the heightened security situation in North Korea due to North Korea's nuclear and missile threats", the South Korean Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The draft, seen by dpa on Wednesday, also includes a ban on the country's textile exports and the employment of North Korean workers overseas.

China is a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, as well as North Korea's main trading partner and source of food and fuel aid.

The 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.

Kang reportedly praised the president's decision to deploy THAAD, but said that the Friday statement contained many excuses aimed at the forces protesting the deployment, and China, which has also been critical of it.

Seonju residents and activists have raised concerns over rumored health hazards linked to the system's powerful radar and the possibility the town will become a target of North Korean attacks.

While condemning North Korea over its latest nuclear test, the leaders of Russian Federation and South Korea seemed far apart on the issue of stepping up sanctions against the country.

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

According to a representative of Liberty Korea Party, President Moon Jae-in's emphasis on "tentative" nature of the deployment of US THAAD makes it seem as if it could be stopped at any moment. But Putin insisted the road map offered "a practical way, as we see it, to ease tensions and to move gradually toward a settlement on the peninsula".

The deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system has angered not only North Korea, but also China and Russian Federation, which see the system's powerful radars as a security threat.



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