S. Korea president says THAAD deployment inevitable but temporary

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un

On Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated China's opposition to South Korea's deployment of a US Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense System, also known as THAAD, which is meant to protect against North Korean missile attacks.

Dozens of people were injured in clashes between South Korean protesters and police Thursday as the USA military added more launchers to the high-tech missile-defense system it installed in a southern town to better cope with North Korean threats.

South Korean media reports that a North Korean ICBM has been spotted on the move, and South Korea's Prime Minister said that "some believe North Korea may launch another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on the 9th; this time at an ordinary angle", according to CNN.

Asked whether he was considering a military response to North Korea, Trump said, "Certainly, that's not our first choice, but we will see what happens".

North Korean defectors took to the streets in Seoul, South Korea, on Friday (8 September) to protest against the Kim Jong-un regime amid escalated tensions in the peninsula following Pyongyang's biggest nuclear test.

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.

"One shouldn't give in to emotions and drive North Korea into a corner", he continued, adding that all parties need to show composure and avoid "steps that lead to an escalation of tension".

North Korea said Sunday's detonation was a "perfect success" in testing a hydrogen bomb, raising fears that it had developed the technology to build a nuclear device small enough to be mounted on a missile.

China on Thursday said it would agree to new United Nations sanctions on North Korea over its latest nuclear test, while Russian president Vladimir Putin resisted pressure from Japan and South Korea to support such measures.

The launchers installed on Thursday were added to the two already set up on the site, an old golf course located about 300 km south of Seoul. Beijing says the system's powerful radars will be able to monitor flights and missile launches deep inside northeastern China.

China's opposition to the THAAD deployment has sent formerly strong relations with South Korea into a tailspin, cutting deeply into the crucial economic relationship between the two countries.

"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. The U.S. and South Korea should "immediately stop the deployment process and withdraw relevant equipment", Geng said.

If they do not, LKP chairman Rep. Hong Joon-pyo said, "We will have to search for our own new way to deal with North Korean nukes". The ministry said the exercises had been planned well in advance.

The Bohai Gulf lies just west of the Yellow Sea, which separates China from the Korean Peninsula.


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