12:37 GMT23 January 2021
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    Russian and Chinese deputy foreign ministers, Igor Morgulov and Kong Xuanyou, respectively, expressed concern over disproportionate US military activities on the Korean peninsula and deployment of the THAAD missile defence systems in South Korea, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Morgulov and Kong met earlier Monday.

    "[The sides] expressed mutual concern over the serious degradation of the situation in the region, provoked by Pyongyang’s continued implementation of missile and nuclear programs, as well as disproportionate military activity of the United States and its allies, including deployment of the THAAD missile systems on the territory of the Republic of Korea," the statement read.

    Tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalated as Pyongyang carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests in the recent months, which are considered to be in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.

    As a response to the potential use of nuclear weapons, the United States sent a strike group led by US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the Korean Peninsula, where it began exercises with the South Korean navy.

    US media reported that US President Donald Trump might order a strike against North Korea in light of its military activities. The North Korean top officials said the country was ready for nuclear attacks in case of possible US military aggression.

    The crisis is aggravated by the deployment of the US THAAD air defense system in South Korea.

    The THAAD agreement was reached by Seoul and Washington in July 2016. The move came amid growing tensions spurred by North Korea's recurring ballistic and nuclear missile tests.

    The THAAD system has a range of some 200 kilometers (125 miles) and is designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles at the terminal incoming stage. The move to deploy it in South Korea has been criticized by neighboring China and Russia as inappropriate, possibly disproportionate, and affecting other countries' interests.


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    Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Russian Foreign Ministry, Igor Morgulov, Kong Xuanyou, Russia, US, China, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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