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Russia Warns Seoul Against THAAD

Feb. 4, 2017 (EIRNS)—Russian Ambassador to South Korea Alexander Timonin told South Korean reporters yesterday that deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles as planned at this point would mean that Russia would have no choice but to take steps to ensure its security. UPI reported from Maeil Business that Timonin said:

"A THAAD deployment may have a dangerous impact on the situation on the peninsula.... We regard it as part of the U.S. global missile defense program, which is stationed along the Russian borders and therefore poses a threat to our security."

The statement was issued on the same day that Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who was in Seoul, announced that the U.S. would proceed with the THAAD deployment this year, as planned under the Obama Administration. This is leaving out the very real possibility that the THAAD will be scrapped by the new South Korean government, which will be elected sometime between now and December.

In Beijing, during a regular press briefing on Feb. 3, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China’s position on THAAD has not changed.

"The U.S.-South Korea pursuit of THAAD deployment can undermine China’s national strategy and prosperity, and also undermines regional strategic balance,"

Lu said, according to Yonhap. "It does not help solve the problems on the Korean Peninsula." He said THAAD deployment was the "wrong path."