17:59 GMT +317 October 2019
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    Julian Assange, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks speaks via video link during a press conference on the occasion of the ten year anniversary celebration of WikiLeaks in Berlin, Germany, October 4, 2016.

    US Provoking Conflict With North Korea to Justify THAAD Deployment - Assange

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    Hot Button Issue: Latest Launches, Nuclear Tests Escalate Korean Crisis (97)
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    Wikileaks founder Assange said that Washington's escalation of rhetoric toward Pyongyang amid North Korea's multiple missile launches and the latest nuclear test could be aimed to serve as a pretext to achieve a US foreign policy goal.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that the United States might be provoking a conflict with Pyongyang to justify the deployment of US-made THAAD missile systems in South Korea, and China would respond to these actions.

    "South Korea is China's Cuba. By provoking conflict with the North, US is creating cover to place THAAD etc. on China's border… Is the ultimate goal to get U.S. nukes into South Korea? If so, expect China to act. It has plenty of economic and military levers," Assange wrote on Twitter.

    Commenting on the North Korean nuclear test, US President Donald Trump called Pyongyang's actions "hostile and dangerous," emphasizing that the "talk of appeasement" would not work. He also reaffirmed the US readiness to protect the US and its allies by "using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at our disposal."

    Moreover, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that any threats to the United States or its allies would be met with a massive, "effective and overwhelming" military response. Mattis also said that Trump had been briefed on various military options available to the United States.

    In her turn, US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley said at a UNSC emergency meeting earlier in the day that North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is "begging for war" by continuing defiance of UN resolutions on the country's nuclear and missile programs. Haley also slammed Russia's and China's so-called "double freeze" plan to resolve the nuclear and missile crisis on the Korean Peninsula, calling it "insulting". Meanwhile, Seoul announced that it was boosting the THAAD systems deployed on its soil.

    In July 2016, Seoul and Washington agreed to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea's Seongju County amid growing tensions spurred by North Korea's ballistic and nuclear tests. The THAAD system is designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles at the terminal incoming stage.

    Moscow and Beijing oppose the THAAD deployment, saying it could further deteriorate the nuclear crisis and provoke North Korean aggression. Russia, alongside China, also criticized the increase in South Korea's joint military activities with Washington as a danger to the peace and stability in the region.

    Topic:
    Hot Button Issue: Latest Launches, Nuclear Tests Escalate Korean Crisis (97)

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    Tags:
    nuclear test, Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States, South Korea
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