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MISSILE DEFENSE
S. Koreans march to protest US missile defence system
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) June 24, 2017


Thousands of protesters marched near the US embassy in Seoul on Saturday, accusing President Donald Trump of "forcing" South Korea to deploy a controversial American missile defence system opposed by China.

The protest came as South Korea's new president Moon Jae-In heads to Washington next week for his first summit with Trump amid soaring tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

Around 4,000 people participated in the demonstration, the largest since South Korea and the United States agreed to deploy the system, known as Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD).

Protesters carried placards that read: "Trump stop forcing (South Korea) to deploy THAAD" and "No THAAD, No Trump".

The crowd included residents from the southeastern county of Seongju where the system is being deployed who say it poses health and environmental hazards and argue that its presence could make them a priority target for North Korea.

THAAD was approved by Moon's ousted predecessor, conservative president Park Geun-Hye, who then steamrollered the project through a hasty environmental review during her last months in office as she became ensnared in a massive corruption scandal.

The deployment has also been opposed by Beijing, which fears it could undermine its own nuclear deterrent and has reacted with fury, imposing a series of measures seen as economic retaliation on the South.

Though parts of system are already in place, Moon this month suspended further deployment.

Officially, the delay is to allow for a new, comprehensive environmental impact assessment, but analysts say the move is a strategic delay by Moon to handle the tricky diplomatic situation he inherited.

MISSILE DEFENSE
Test of US-Japanese missile interceptor fails
Washington (AFP) June 22, 2017
The US Navy and the Japanese ministry of defense have unsuccessfully attempted to intercept a ballistic missile in a test of a jointly built system off Hawaii, the US military said Wednesday. The two nations have been working together since 2006 to develop a variant of the Standard Missile-3, a ship-launched missile that operates as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. Tue ... read more

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