Russian ambassador to South Korea Alexander Timonin has told Sputnik that the US military buildup on the Korean Peninsula is beyond the scope of deterring the North Korean threat.
According to him, Seoul did not give any guarantees to Moscow that the US THAAD missile defense system, deployed in South Korea, will be controlled by its servicemen.
“As far as the deployment of the US THAAD missile defense system in the Republic of Korea is concerned, then as far as we know all six components of this anti-missile system have been deployed on the territory of the Republic of Korea. At the same time, there were no ‘guarantees’ that only South Korean servicemen would control these systems,” he said.
The ambassador stressed that the continuous build-up of the US presence on the Korean Peninsula, including the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system, "clearly goes beyond the task of deterring ‘the North Korean threat.'"
In early September, South Korea deployed the final units of the THAAD missile defense system, which Seoul and Washington consider to be an important military deterrence measure against a potential nuclear strike from North Korea. The THAAD system is supposedly designed to intercept short and intermediate range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase.
The move triggered sharp criticism from Russia and China, while Japan approved the steps, noting that they would help to promote peace and stability in the region.