U.S. vows full extended deterrence for Korea, Japan

Posted September 07, 2017

The weekend explosion was Pyongyang's strongest-ever nuclear test and follows launches in July of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the USA mainland.

Some construction would be carried out to deploy the four launchers at the site in Seongju, south of Seoul, the defence ministry said in a statement.

China has reiterated its opposition to the installation of a United States missile defence system in South Korea, demanding on Wednesday (Sept 6) that deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) battery should be immediately halted.

Although the ministry did not provide an exact time for the installation, a residents' group cited by Yonhap said it had confirmed the plan "through various channels", adding that it was due to take place at 2am local time on Thursday.

Mr Moon said the leaders agreed that reducing regional tension and "quickly solving" the security challenges posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile programme were critical. With the four additional launchers installed, U.S. Forces Korea will have a fully operational THAAD battery at its base in Seongju.

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Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that the North Korean nuclear crisis can not be resolved by sanctions alone, and urged the worldwide community not to push Pyongyang into a corner.

South Korea's navy held major live-fire drills on Tuesday to warn the North against any provocations at sea, it said, two days after Pyongyang's biggest nuclear test to date.

Putin made the remarks Wednesday after meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Vladivostok, Russia.

While North Korea claimed to possess a hydrogen bomb past year, seismologists refuted the claim, suggesting that the subsequent quake from that nuclear test was too small to have been the product of a pure fusion weapon.

Trucks carrying THAAD equipment head to the missile defense system's deployment site in Seongju, some 300 kilometers south of Seoul, on September 7, 2017.