05:06 GMT26 November 2020
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    The Relationship Between the Two Koreas (166)
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    Pyongyang will "bolster up its war deterrence" if Washington deploys its THAAD system on South Korea's territory, warned North Korea's Foreign Ministry. According to the DPRK, the US missile defense system is meant to target North Korea, China and Russia, Washington's geopolitical rivals in the region.

    North Korea will expand its military deterrence in response to the US’ Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery deployment, the Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) warned on Thursday.

    The official statement published on the website of Korean Central News Agency, a North Korean state-run media outlet, came amid intense speculations on the possible deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery on South Korean territory. The battery is meant to protect Seoul from the potential missile threat from Pyongyang. However, according to Yonhap, a South Korean media source, Seoul has not yet negotiated the agreement on the installation of a missile defense system with Washington.

    "What the US seeks in this deployment is to round off its preparations for mounting a preemptive strike at the DPRK and create favorable conditions to contain China and Russia, its strategic rivals, pursuant to its strategy for dominating the world," a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the DPRK stressed in an official statement.

    The DPRK Foreign Ministry pointed out that the projected THAAD deployment was a part of Washington's strategy aimed at forming the US-Japan-South Korea "triangular military alliance," the Asian version of NATO. Furthermore, the THAAD battery on the peninsula would become an element of Washington's comprehensive global missile defense system.

    "If THAAD is deployed in South Korea, that would establish a new Cold War structure in Northeast Asia and the peninsula would again be exposed to the danger of being reduced to the theatre of a war of big powers," the statement read.

    The DPRK Foreign Ministry also denounced the joint military drills held by Seoul and Washington, claiming that they aimed to escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula in order to justify the deployment of THAAD in South Korea.

    China has also repeatedly expressed its concerns regarding the US missile system’s deployment in South Korea, citing security issues. In response, Seoul insists that no official decision has yet been made on the THAAD installation. However, according to South Korean media sources, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff who has just arrived in Seoul, may raise the issue of the THAAD during his official meeting with his South Korean counterparts.

    The Relationship Between the Two Koreas (166)


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    South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Japan, China, Russia, US
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