00:27 GMT09 August 2020
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    Despite concerns voiced from China and Russia, the United States official claimed that Washington and Seoul have reached an agreement on the deployment of Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea, which is not negotiable.

    THAAD system is said to be deployed in South Korea by the end of 2017 as response to the North Korean nuclear missiles that Pyongyang has been testing recently.

    The plan has been sharply criticized by Beijing, which sees the system as a measure that Washington hopes to use to deter of China rather than address the issue of the DPRK’s notorious nuclear program.

    Moscow said that the THAAD system deployment in South Korea not only "provokes Pyongyang toward new unreasonable steps," but also affects Russia’s interests. Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Mikhail Ulyanov said that Russia will take the system deployment into account in its military planning.

    However, answering the question on whether talks on THAAD will continue, US assistant secretary of state for East Asia Daniel Russel gave a firm “no.”

    “The two countries have made a decision," Russel told reporters.

    The announcement came in the wake of the fifth nuclear test by Pyongyang some two weeks ago. In a speech on September 23, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said that nuclear arsenal is the only means to protect the country against the US.

    However, the United Nations is preparing a fresh round of sanctions against Pyongyang in addition to strengthening sanctions that are already in place.

    Russel said that the new sanctions, which will prevent North Koreans from using banking and shipping which could be used to accelerate its nuclear program, will be unveiled in foreseeable future.

    "The international system is being exploited by (North Korea)… for the purpose of pursuing an illegal nuclear and missiles program that threatens both its neighbors and regional peace and security," Russel he claimed at a press conference.


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    deployment, Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Russia, United States, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), South Korea
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