06:57 GMT09 March 2021
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    US will further promote the THAAD missile systems deployment in South Korea in case North Korean threat persists, US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States will take more "defensive" steps aside from the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile systems in South Korea if the North Korean threat persists, US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said Friday.

    "Every single day that goes by, North Korea becomes more and more acute threat to South Korea, Japan, countries in the region and the U.S. And it gets closer to the day when it can actually put a nuclear weapon and an inter-continental ballistic missile that can reach the continental U.S. That's not acceptable for us … We have been very clear with China and others that we will have to continue to take defensive steps to protect ourselves and protect our allies and partners," Blinken said at a lecture at Seoul National University, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

    In July, South Korea and the United States agreed to deploy the anti-missile system in the Seongju County amid growing regional tensions, spurred by North Korea’s recent ballistic missile tests and two nuclear tests over the past year.

    China and Russia have both opposed the THAAD deployment, arguing the system could be applied beyond deterring North Korea and affect Chinese and Russian interests in the region.

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    Tags:
    deployment, threat, THAAD missile defense system, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), US, South Korea
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