South Korea prepares for new Northern missile test

South Korea prepares for new Northern missile test

South Korean residents and protesters clash with police officers before the arrival of United States missile defense system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD in Seongju, South Korea, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017.

Mr. Moon also expressed regret over clashes between protesters and police that left dozens injured Thursday when the USA military added the four launchers to the THAAD system in rural Seongju.

The unexpected move prompted massive protests in Seongju, the host county of the USA missile defense system, located some 300 kilometers south of Seoul.

Pyongyang also conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sunday, prompting vehement reprimands from neighbouring Japan and the United States.

Putin says he believes President Donald Trump's administration is willing to defuse tensions over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

South Korea and the United States are technically still at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty. Trump, who also once favored talks with Pyongyang, recently said this was "not the answer".

"Seoul also seeks to achieve North Korea's denuclearization peacefully", Cho added. "If we do use it on North Korea, it will be a very sad day for North Korea".

The decision to deploy the THAAD system has drawn strong objections from China, which believes its radar could be used to look deeply into its territory and will upset the regional security balance. The trade issue is unrelated to North Korea but has been a source of tension between the two allies.

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South Korea's military said it was keeping close tabs on the North amid speculation it could stage a missile launch or another nuclear test to mark the 1948 establishment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

China lodged another stern protest over the THAAD deployment on Thursday.

Geng told reporters that China had complained to the US and South Korea and urged them to "take seriously the security concerns and interests of China and other regional countries".

Friday's statement came two days after the local government chose to install four additional THAAD launchers, fully installing the battalion of the US missile shield. The US and South Korea should "immediately stop the deployment process and withdraw relevant equipment", Geng said.

South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. said its China plant halted operation due to a supply disruption on Tuesday, its second shutdown in China in less than a month. Reports suggested that Moon had expressed "extreme shock" over the extent of unreported THAAD deployment in the country following his election in May and has repeatedly suggested dialogue with the communist Kim Jong-un regime, even seeking intervention from Pope Francis on the matter.

North Korea accused South Korea and Japan of "dirty politics" for what it said was the highjacking a meeting meant to be about economic development.

The ministry said the exercise in the Bohai Gulf was aimed at "boosting the forces expulsion mission capability" and not at any specific nations or targets, according to a statement posted on the ministry's official Sina Weibo microblog account.