Russia, North Korea issue warnings against THAAD deployment

By Elizabeth Shim  |  Feb. 10, 2016 at 12:52 PM
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MOSCOW, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Russia warned South Korea against deploying a U.S. anti-missile defense system on the peninsula, joining a chorus of opposition that includes China and North Korea regarding THAAD, also known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Mogulov expressed his concern regarding THAAD during a meeting with South Korea's ambassador to Moscow, Park Ro-byug, Yonhap reported.

Washington and Seoul have said in separate statements that consultations are expected to be underway regarding THAAD deployment in South Korea, reports that have drawn strong opposition from China as well as Russia.

Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin has previously called in the South Korean ambassador to Beijing to formally lodge a complaint about U.S. and South Korea discussions of THAAD.

China is concerned the system could be used for regional surveillance that could expand on the U.S. policy of a "Pivot to Asia."

Russia and China are traditional North Korea allies, and their differing approach to tougher sanctions has been an impediment at the United Nations Security Council, where the United States has called for measures that could hinder North Korea's development of nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang condemned reports that rival South Korea is reviewing THAAD deployment, local news network JTBC reported.

North Korea state media denounced the move, calling it an "anti- [Korea] people" strategy that is also "anti-unification."

Pyongyang said the "puppets of the South Korean regime" are inviting the "shameless maneuvers" of the United States to the peninsula, and called the discussions "reckless."

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