US Adds Launchers To THAAD As Dozens Hurt In Skorea Protests

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, poses with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a photo during their meeting at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. "The fundamental thing for the Japanese-Russian relations is signing a peace treaty, that is what [Russian] President Putin said during his visit to Japan", Abe opined.

John DeLury, a professor at Yonsei University in South Korea, says the meeting in Vladivostok is part of Putin's efforts to increase Russia's presence in East Asia.

Putin, while condemning North Korea's missile and nuclear development as posing a threat to global and regional peace and safety, said, "There are only political and diplomatic means to resolve the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula".

Forced by the increasing threats from Pyongyang, the United States and South Korea had announced they would deploy four more interceptor launchers.

The North's Sunday test, which was its largest nuclear detonation, was met with worldwide condemnation, and drew a stern rebuke from Defense Secretary James Mattis who warned that any threat to the USA or its allies "will be met with a massive military response - a response both effective and overwhelming".

Nebenzia said the only initiative on paper is a Chinese-Russian suspension-for-suspension proposal that would halt North Korean nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the USA and South Korea halting their joint military exercises.

China has once again urged the US and South Korea to halt the deployment of a high-tech missile defense system in South Korea.

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The North has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests in the past year despite sanctions, testing two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and firing a missile over Japan last week.

Putin called on all North Korea's neighbors to show restraint, indicating the bellicose rhetoric and the military drills are only "playing into their hands".

The South Korean president had stressed the need for stronger sanctions against the North, including cutting off its oil supply, in an earlier call with his Russian counterpart. The Russian leader will meet with Abe later in the day. The decision to deploy THAAD, created to shoot down short- to medium-range missiles mid-flight, has drawn strong objections from China.

Geng says the THAAD system would aggravate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and jeopardize the strategic and security interests of China and other countries. Thirty-eight people, including six officers, were injured during scuffles between police and demonstrators, a fire department official in Seongju told AP. South Korea's Defense Ministry couldn't immediately confirm when the four launchers added on Thursday will be operationally capable.

Washington and Seoul began deploying THAAD before a conservative South Korean government was ousted in a corruption scandal.

Russian Federation says it is strictly implementing United Nations sanctions on North Korea, but in its public pronouncements it has taken a more doveish approach than most Western countries. The liberal Moon took office in May calling for diplomacy with Pyongyang but the escalation in weapons tests has been the North's only response.

Moon had temporarily halted the installment of THAAD to conduct more environmental reviews and ease residents' concerns. Others say the system will cause Seongju to become a prime target for North Korean attacks.

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