The move provoked an angry response from China, North Korea’s main ally, which fears THAAD’s powerful radars will be able to spot its own missile launches and threaten its defences.
China’s ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Fu Cong, said Beijing firmly opposed the deployment of THAAD “and will take necessary measures to defend our own security interests”.
China a have warned the US over placement of THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea
He added: “All parties concerned should work together for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and its peace and stability.”
THAAD is purely defensive. It is the only defence measure we can take facing the massive threat posed by North Korea
Kim Inchul – South Korea’s Disarmament ambassador
THAAD has a range of 130 miles and can reach an altitude of 90 miles.
It is designed to shoot down short and medium-range ballistic missiles. The deployment came a day after North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un fired four test missiles towards Japan.
Rogue state North Korea has nuclear weapons and is thought to be trying to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles which could threaten the US.
First parts of THAAD system arriving in South Korea
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Interceptor launched during a successful intercept test
America has tried to neutralise the threat by deploying THAAD.
The system could be operational by early next month.
South Korea’s Disarmament ambassador Kim Inchul said: “THAAD is purely defensive. It is the only defence measure we can take facing the massive threat posed by North Korea.”
US Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood said the US had an “iron-clad commitment to defend its allies”.
He added: “It should be very clear to the DPRK (North Korea) that it is a pariah, it is an outlier, it is in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.”
Inside China's Military Superpower Sun, February 5, 2017
An inside view of the Chinese military over 120 years.
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Armed police soldiers lift timbers during a drill on August 24, 2016 in Chongqing, China. As the highest temperatures reached over 40 degree Celsius at 5 districts in Chongqing, officers and soldiers of an armed police crop took outdoor training
Elements of the US-built Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense arriving in South Korea
The US and its allies could not stand by and do nothing, he said. But North Korea insists it will pursue what it claims is its nuclear “deterrent”.
On Monday, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson branded North Korea a threat to international peace and security after its missile test.
Three of the rockets it fired landed in the sea just 190 miles from Japan’s coast. Kim Jong-un carried out the country’s fifth and most powerful nuclear test in the country last September.
In February the dictator was accused of having his estranged half brother Kim Jong-nam murdered at Kuala Lumpur airport in North Korea’s despot Kim Malaysia.
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