U.S. deploys first elements of anti-missile system in South Korea

Posted March 09, 2017

China objects to THAAD as its radar can penetrate into its territory and its says its presence on the Korean peninsula upsets the regional security balance.

North Korea fired at least four missiles toward Japan on Monday, three of which came down in waters within Japan's exclusive economic zone, saying they were tests for a possible strike on USA bases in Japan.

The launches "clearly show that this is a new level of threat" from North Korea, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told lawmakers in Tokyo.

US and South Korean officials said they do not believe they were intercontinental ballistic missiles, but it shows the North is making advances toward its goal of producing an ICBM capable of hitting the West Coast of the U.S.

As sanctions by the United States against North Korea have increased, he has vowed to develop a intercontinental ballistic missile that can deploy a nuclear weapon to the US.

Trump told Abe that the USA commitment to Japan's security is unwavering, and he confirmed with Abe that the two countries will ask China for cooperation, when necessary, because Beijing has a strong influence on Pyongyang.

It had violated United Nations instructions by continuing with the missile launches, Wang said.

The United States has begun assembling its missile defense system in South Korea, following yesterday's news that North Korea deployed four more missiles Monday morning.

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Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said three out of the four DPRK ballistic missiles fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone.

Officials in Seoul said that launch was aimed at "testing the response from the new US administration" of President Donald Trump, who took office on January 20.

North Korea conducted two nuclear tests a year ago.

The two countries have expelled each other's ambassador from their capitals and on Tuesday announced tit-for-tat bans on departures of each other's nationals, sharply escalating tensions between two countries that, until the killing of Kim Jong Nam, had maintained rare close ties.

Seoul said several missiles were filed into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, and that South Korea and the United States were "closely analysing" tracking data for further details.

The U.S. has responded to this aggression, setting up its advanced anti-missile defense system in South Korea, Reuters reported Tuesday.

While South Korea's media speculates that the THAAD deployment could be completed by as early as April, the ministry official couldn't confirm such reports but said the plan was to have the system operational as soon as possible.

The United States has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, and 50,000 in Japan, as a deterrent against a potential aggression from the North. "We again strongly urge the relevant sides to stop the deployment process and not keep going down the wrong path", he told reporters at a daily briefing in Beijing. The test-launches appeared to be in reaction to huge U.S.