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THAAD Deployed Two Weeks before South Korean Election

April 27, 2017 (EIRNS)—With the May 9 South Korean election less than two weeks away, and while the likely winner, Moon Jae-in, is openly denouncing the deployment, the U.S. nonetheless deployed an operable Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system today, including the X-band radar which peers deeply into Chinese and Russian territory. It is the X-band radar which both China and Russia have warned creates a severe shift in the strategic balance, which they will be forced to counter. China is already imposing sanctions, mostly unofficial, on South Korea due to the plan to deploy the system.

Candidate Moon, through his spokesman, on Wednesday called the deployment "strongly regrettable" and "very inappropriate" as it strips the next government of the right to make the policy decision on the controversial missile defense system.

The special briefing at the White House for the members of the Senate Wednesday produced no new policy, confirming that the Trump administration will use more pressure tactics on North Korea while working with China to reach a peaceful solution. The readout from the Pentagon calls for North Korea to return to dialogue, although it is the United States under Obama that refused to talk to the North, and the Trump Administration has made no public offer to engage in talks. It is simply not clear if there are private discussions with China and others to renew the Six-Party Talks or any other dialogue, while there is no question that the United States is deploying missiles and warships into the area, clearly threatening an attack.

Pacific Command chief Adm. Harry Harris, speaking before the House yesterday, said that the United States wants to "bring Kim Jong-un to his senses, not to his knees."

A North Korea official, Son Choi-won, told CNN after the White House talks that "As long as America continues its hostile acts of aggression, we will never stop nuclear and missile tests."

The London Financial Times is reporting that Trump sent an envoy to tell Jimmy Carter to stay out of the issue. In 1994, when President Bill Clinton was close to launching an attack on North Korea, Carter went to Pyongyang and worked out a deal with Kim Il-Song which became the Agreed Framework, starting a peace process which was only sabotaged when George W. Bush and his Vice President Dick Cheney came to power. Carter had requested and received a briefing on Trump’s Korea policy from the Trump administration. It is not clear whether the Financial Times report is British subterfuge or real.

Only talks which include the North can end this buildup to war. China’s U.S. Ambassador Cui Tiankai again called for talks, and for both the U.S. and Pyongyang to refrain from further provocations.