14:12 GMT05 August 2020
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    In a new attempt to exert pressure on Seoul to end the deployment of US missile systems on its territory, Pyongyang released on Monday what it claims are high-resolution satellite photographs detailing the THAAD missile defense system’s installation in an area of South Korea close to its northern border.

    The installation of the US-developed THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile defense system in South Korea has drawn regional condemnation not only from North Korea, but from China and Russia as well, who object to the system's range and powerful radar.

    Pyongyang's state-run broadcaster, Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station (KCTV), released two images on Monday purported to have been acquired by a North Korean spy satellite, showing the components of the THAAD system at a golf course in Seongju County, South Korea.

    "The satellite pictures show the THAAD launcher is currently deployed near the northern ridge of the Seongju golf course while the X-band radar and other auxiliary equipment are installed near the western ridge from the center," the North Korean report read, as cited by Yonhap.

    North Korea has successfully placed two surveillance satellites into orbit around Earth, in 2012 and 2016; however, it is not known whether they are functional. KCTV did not provide information as to how the images were acquired.

    The release follows accusations by Pyongyang that the US has sped up the installation of the THAAD system in South Korea so as to have the missiles in place some two weeks before a new administration takes power in Seoul.

    Following this week's presidential referendum in South Korea, newly elected President Moon Jae-in announced that he would "seriously negotiate with the US and China" regarding the THAAD deployment.

    Social liberal Moon, a former human rights attorney and student activist, campaigned to revisit the deployment of the missiles, an agreement implemented by impeached former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.


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