SEOUL, South Korea — The Latest on North Korea’s nuclear test (all times local):
China has once again urged the U.S. and South Korea to halt the deployment of a high-tech missile defense system in South Korea.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday that China remains strongly opposed to it.
The U.S. military is to add more launchers Thursday to a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery that it began setting up in rural South Korea earlier this year.
Geng says the THAAD system would aggravate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and jeopardize the strategic and security interests of China and other countries.
South Korea says the U.S. military will begin adding more launchers to a contentious high-tech U.S. missile defense system in South Korea on Thursday to better cope with North Korean threats.
Seoul’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday that four launchers and construction equipment will be moved to the former golf course where the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system has been set up.
A THAAD battery normally consists of six launchers, but only two have been operational so far at the site in rural Seongju.
The placing of additional THAAD launchers will likely trigger an angry response from area residents and activists who have opposed the system.
They have raised worries over rumored health hazards linked to the system’s powerful radar and the possibility that the town will become a target of North Korean attacks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says supporting a Russian-Chinese road map would help resolve the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula.
Speaking after the talks with the visiting South Korean president, Putin in televised remarks urged North Korea’s neighbors to support the Russian-Chinese roadmap. He said it “offers a genuine way to defuse the tensions and a step-by-step settlement.”
Russia and China both share a border with North Korea.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has dismissed the Russian-Chinese roadmap, saying the United States is “done talking about North Korea.”
While Putin reiterated Moscow’s opposition to new sanctions against North Korea, he told reporters he had assured South Korean President Moon Jae-in that Moscow condemns North Korea’s nuclear test and thinks it “flagrantly violates” international law.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for talks with North Korea, saying sanctions are not a solution.
Putin made the remarks Wednesday after meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Vladivostok, Russia.
North Korea says it detonated a hydrogen bomb in its sixth nuclear test on Sunday.
Putin, speaking in China on Tuesday, had condemned the nuclear test as provocative, but said that Russia views sanctions on North Korea as “useless and ineffective.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he hopes their two countries can work together to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.
The leaders of South Korea and Japan are holding talks with Putin in Vladivostok on the sidelines of a conference on economic development of Russia’s Far East.
Moon said Wednesday that the situation could get out of hand if North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests aren’t stopped. The North says it detonated a hydrogen bomb in its sixth nuclear test on Sunday.
Abe will meet Putin on Thursday. He told reporters before his departure from Japan that “We must make North Korea understand there is no bright future for the country if it pursues the current path.”
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