US THAAD missile defense kits enter South Korea site — Yonhap | Inquirer News
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US THAAD missile defense kits enter South Korea site — Yonhap

/ 07:01 AM April 26, 2017
Travellers walk past a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean missiles at a railway station in Seoul on April 28, 2016. North Korea on April 28 tried and failed in what appeared to be its second attempt in two weeks to test a powerful, new medium-range ballistic missile, South Korea's defence ministry said. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE

Travellers walk past a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean missiles at a railway station in Seoul on April 28, 2016. Trailers carrying US THAAD missile defense equipment entered a deployment site in South Korea early Wednesday, April 26, 2017, to counter the missile threat from the North.  AFP

SEOUL, South Korea — Trailers carrying US THAAD missile defense equipment entered a deployment site in South Korea early Wednesday with tensions high over North Korea’s intentions, Yonhap news agency reported.

Arrival of the six trailers at the golf course location sparked clashes between locals and police, the agency said.

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Washington and Seoul are deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery to counter the threat from North Korea, which is pushing ahead with its ballistic missile program despite multiple sets of UN sanctions.

READ: North Korea missile explodes on launch

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The THAAD system is meant to intercept and destroy short and medium-range ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight.

The North is also believed to be preparing for a sixth nuclear weapons test.

Washington and Seoul agreed to early deployment of the missile defense system after talks earlier this month between the South’s acting president and visiting US Vice President Mike Pence.

China however is strongly opposed to deployment of the THAAD system which it fears will undermine its own military capabilities.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have soared in recent months as North Korea’s missile tests have brought ever-more bellicose warnings from US President Donald Trump’s administration.

The United States has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson to the western Pacific.

Trump has indicated he is willing to ramp up US military pressure on North Korea while simultaneously encouraging China to use its influence on its ally, and reject bilateral diplomacy with Pyongyang.

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The US has long pushed for China to make more efforts to curb Pyongyang’s behavior.

But Beijing has resisted, concerned that a regime collapse could trigger a flood of refugees across the border and leave the US military on its doorstep.

However, it has become increasingly concerned as tensions rise in the flashpoint region, with experts warning of the possibility of a sixth nuclear test by the North.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called Monday for “restraint” regarding North Korea in a telephone conversation with Trump.

US defense leaders and other top officials are to give a classified briefing on North Korea to all senators in an unusual meeting at the White House later Wednesday. CBB

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TAGS: anti-missile, Ballistic Missile, ICBM, missile defense, News, North korea, South korea, THAAD, US
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