Korea to deploy new THAAD launchers just 3 days after announcement

Korea to deploy new THAAD launchers just 3 days after announcement

Additional launchers for a controversial American antimissile system will be installed Thursday in Seongju County, North Gyeongsang, the Ministry of National Defense said Wednesday.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems will be deployed on September 7 in the USA military base 300kms from Seoul. "THAAD is a missile defense system for the theater of operations".

Even while approving the new installations-which are likely to irritate neighbors China and Russia-South Korean officials insisted the deployment was "provisional", as the environmental survey Moon demanded had not yet been completed before North Korea's alleged hydrogen bomb test this week.

The remarks from Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, come amid signs of friction between the U.S. and South Korea, and warnings that North Korea appears to be planning to test-launch another intercontinental ballistic missile.

The government is shifting to a tougher line on North Korea after the North's nuclear test on Sunday.

The ministry said additional launchers, based on consultations between Korea and the United States, will be moved to the base along with the construction materials.

Trump has offered "conceptual approval" on the purchase of billions of dollars' worth of USA military weapons and equipment by South Korea.

Geng urged South Korea and the United States to stop the deployment of THAAD, adding that its powerful radar could probe Chinese territory and therefore undermine the country's security. There are now two launchers at the location. He said it "offers a genuine way to defuse the tensions and a step-by-step settlement".

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for talks with North Korea, saying sanctions are not a solution.

The leaders of South Korea and Japan are holding talks with Putin in Vladivostok on the sidelines of a conference on economic development of Russia's Far East.

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