An inevitable clash: US Patriot missile battery deployment in South Korea
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2016-02-17 08:34:00

An inevitable clash: US Patriot missile battery deployment in South Korea

US

 

The U.S. temporarily deployed an additional Patriot missile battery in South Korea late Friday in response to North Korea’s nuclear test and a long-range rocket launch, ahead of talks next week to set up an even more sophisticated missile defense system. There was no immediate word from the Pentagon on the deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, missile system, something that China and Russia wouldn’t view favorably. The extra Patriot missile battery deployment follows South Korea’s decision to shut down a shared factory park that had been the rival Koreas’ last major symbol of cooperation, but that Seoul said had been used by North Korea to fund its nuclear and missile programs. North Korea responded to the closure by deporting South Korean citizens, seizing South Korean assets and vowing to militarize the park. Whilst the test of hydrogen bomb and a long-range missile by North Korea triggered anxiety both in Japan and South Korea, it has provided yet another opportunity to the United States and Western powers to beef up their installations in the peninsula. The recent moves by Washington to deploy modern and latest missile defence systems would not serve the region as it could set off an arms race. It is in this perspective that China has lodged protest with the US over piling up of latest weaponry in the peninsula. Talking to the US Secretary of State John Kerry in Munich, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made clear Beijing’s opposition to the possible deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defence- the modern missile defence system- in South Korea. This modern defence system can intercept and destroy ballistic missiles inside or just outside the atmosphere during their final phase of flight. Despite claims by Washington and Seoul that the sophisticated anti-missile shield is solely focused on DPRK, it is widely believed that the deployment would pose considerable threat to neighbouring countries. Beijing rightly believes that deployment of defence shield goes far beyond the defence needs of Korean Peninsula and its coverage reaches deep into the Asian continent. It directly affects strategic security interests of China and other Asian countries. We believe Chinese concerns on the deployment of modern defence shield are genuine and if not checked would not only plunge the whole region into a serious confrontation but also shift the focus from economy to an arms build-up. In such an alarming situation when the situation in Korean peninsula could take an ugly turn, responsibility rests with the United Nations to intervene forthwith and engage the two Koreas in the process of negotiations for normalisation of relations.

 

pk.shafaqna.com

Categories:   World ،
Tags:   US ، North Korea ، South Korea ،
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