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'Shocked' South Korea leader orders probe into U.S. THAAD additions


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'Shocked' South Korea leader orders probe into U.S. THAAD additions

By Heekyong Yang and Ju-min Park

 

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping by telephone at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea in this handout picture provided by the Presidential Blue House and released by Yonhap on May 11, 2017. Blue House/Yonhap via REUTERS

 

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in has ordered a probe after his Defence Ministry failed to inform him that four more launchers for the controversial U.S. THAAD anti-missile system had been brought into the country, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

 

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system battery was initially deployed in March in the southeastern region of Seongju with just two of its maximum load of six launchers to counter a growing North Korean missile threat.

 

During his successful campaign for the May 9 presidential election, Moon called for a parliamentary review of the system, the deployment of which infuriated China, North Korea's lone major ally.

 

"President Moon said it was very shocking" to hear the four additional launchers had been installed without being reported to the new government or to the public, presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan told a media briefing.

 

Moon had campaigned on a more moderate approach to Pyongyang, calling for engagement even as the reclusive state pursues nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions and threats of more sanctions.

 

The Pentagon said it had been "very transparent" with South Korea's government about THAAD deployment. "We continue to work very closely with the Republic of Korea government and we have been very transparent in all of our actions throughout this process," Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis told a news briefing.

 

Separately on Tuesday, the U.S. military cheered a successful, first-ever missile defence test involving a simulated attack by an intercontinental ballistic missile, a major milestone for a programme meant to defend the United States against North Korea.

 

The Missile Defense Agency said it was the first live-fire test against a simulated ICBM for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), a separate system from THAAD, and called it an "incredible accomplishment." 

 

CHINA TENSIONS EASING

 

Moon's order of a probe into the THAAD launchers came amid signs of easing tensions between South Korea and China, a major trading partner.

 

China has been incensed over the THAAD deployment, fearing it could enable the U.S. military to see into its own missile systems and open the door to wider deployment, possibly in Japan and elsewhere, military analysts say.

 

South Korean companies have faced product boycotts and bans on Chinese tourists visiting South Korea, although China has denied discrimination against them.

 

On Tuesday, South Korea's Jeju Air <089590.KS> said China had approved a plan for it to double its flights to the Chinese city of Weihai from June 2.

 

Also, a Korean-Chinese joint drama production “My Goddess, My Mom" starring South Korean actress Lee Da-hae was told by its Chinese partner recently that it will soon be aired, according to Lee's agent JS Pictures. Previously its broadcast had been indefinitely delayed.

 

An official at South Korean tour agency Mode Tour told Reuters it hoped China may lift a ban on selling trips to South Korea, which had been in place since March 15, as early as the second week of June.

 

Although there had been no official orders from the Chinese government to lift the ban, a few Chinese travel agencies have sent inquiries about package tours, he said.

 

However, South Korea's Lotte Group has yet to reopen any of the 74 retail stores in China it was forced to close in March after the group allowed the installation of the THAAD system on land it owned.

 

BOMBER DRILL

 

The United States, which has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, has a mutual defence treaty with Seoul dating back to the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a truce that has left the peninsula in a technical state of war.

 

South Korea's Defence Ministry said on Tuesday it had conducted a joint drill with a U.S. supersonic B-1B Lancer bomber on Monday, which North Korea's state media earlier described as "a nuclear bomb-dropping drill".

 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked to Moon by phone on Tuesday and told him that dialogue for dialogue's sake with North Korea would be meaningless, and that China's role in exerting pressure on the North was important, Japan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

 

North Korea's KCNA news agency reported that leader Kim Jong Un supervised the country's latest missile test on Monday. It said the missile had a new precision guidance system and a new mobile launch vehicle.

 

Kim said North Korea would develop more powerful weapons to defend against the United States.

 

"He expressed the conviction that it would make a greater leap forward in this spirit to send a bigger 'gift package' to the Yankees" in retaliation for American military provocation, KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

 

(Additional reporting by Jack Kim, Hyunjoo Jin, Christine Kim and Suyeong Lee in Seoul, Kiyoshi Takenaka in Tokyo and Phil Stewart and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Writing by Bill Tarrant; Editing by Nick Macfie and James Dalgleish)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-05-31
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Okay, let's remove the damn THAAD.  And US troops while we're at it.  And maybe review all the easy access S. Korea has to American markets.  Let the Koreans feel an American boycott, instead of a Chinese one. Sick of these people. 

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11 minutes ago, Usernames said:

Okay, let's remove the damn THAAD.  And US troops while we're at it.  And maybe review all the easy access S. Korea has to American markets.  Let the Koreans feel an American boycott, instead of a Chinese one. Sick of these people. 

I think trade works both ways in the globalize world. Both sides will hurt if there are boycotts. Why so defensive if South Korea wants to remove the THAAD, the new President's cabinet was not made aware hence the review.One of the main reasons why US have bases in so many countries is to strengthen their own defense, in return they give them aid. So both sides gain from this arrangement.

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34 minutes ago, Usernames said:

Okay, let's remove the damn THAAD.  And US troops while we're at it.  And maybe review all the easy access S. Korea has to American markets.  Let the Koreans feel an American boycott, instead of a Chinese one. Sick of these people. 

He is just a normal political PUKE worrying about his position and not about his country. EVERY Country has them.

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has ordered a probe after his Defence Ministry failed to inform

 

4 hours ago, webfact said:

"President Moon said it was very shocking" to hear the four additional launchers had been installed without being reported to the new government or to the public

It appears Moon is mostly irked because his own Defence Ministry did not inform him of this? (he's still using the recently departed previous Govt's ministry staffers).  If so, perhaps he has a point and right to order a probe into his own people's  non-disclosure of the extra deployment. So, why would Moon want to tone down THAAD deployment?

 

4 hours ago, webfact said:

CHINA TENSIONS EASING

 

Moon's order of a probe into the THAAD launchers came amid signs of easing tensions between South Korea and China, a major trading partner.

 

China has been incensed over the THAAD deployment, fearing it could enable the U.S. military to see into its own missile systems and open the door to wider deployment, possibly in Japan and elsewhere, military analysts say.

 

South Korean companies have faced product boycotts and bans on Chinese tourists visiting South Korea, although China has denied discrimination against them.

Also, the Chinese sure know how to work the carrot and the stick (when they want;) for example, using this clever leverage:

 

4 hours ago, webfact said:

Also, a Korean-Chinese joint drama production “My Goddess, My Mom" starring South Korean actress Lee Da-hae was told by its Chinese partner recently that it will soon be aired, according to Lee's agent JS Pictures. Previously its broadcast had been indefinitely delayed.

Anyways, it all hardly matters as THAAD won't stop missiles reigning on Seoul anyways:

 

 "The 10 million people living in Seoul will also not be protected by THAAD, since it is being installed 125 miles south of the city. "It cannot engage missiles fired at Seoul, so it offers no additional protection of the city". "In the case of a saturation attack, or a large volume of missiles as Postol described, THAAD's defense capabilities "can be expected to be very low, probably zero or close to that"

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/experts-north-korean-nukes-defeat-182100642.html

 

Oh, but all you Uncle Sam patriot warriors who would be willing to reject yet another strategic ally so you can feel more 'patriot-like' , good luck with that. Both Putin and Xi as well as ISIS & ilk are all applauding your preferred isolationist strategy as you would cast out .S Korea, Germany, NATO etc in an instant to falsely assuage your insecurity via nationalism

 

Edited by sujoop
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1 hour ago, mike324 said:

I think trade works both ways in the globalize world. Both sides will hurt if there are boycotts. Why so defensive if South Korea wants to remove the THAAD, the new President's cabinet was not made aware hence the review.One of the main reasons why US have bases in so many countries is to strengthen their own defense, in return they give them aid. So both sides gain from this arrangement.

The US troops in S. Korea are just potential cannon fodder. Nothing more.  They're just there to insure that the US is brought into combat in case the North invades the South. Well, if the South is so chummy with China and China's ally is North Korea, let the Chinese station 28,000 troops on the tripwire. Tired of paying for these parasite countries.

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The US might as well just give up the old objective and let the  Commies and Muzzies have it.  Just let it go.

 

Might as well paint PI, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar red too.

 

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Edited by 55Jay
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"China has been incensed over the THAAD deployment, fearing it could enable the U.S. military to see into its own missile systems and open the door to wider deployment, possibly in Japan and elsewhere, military analysts say."

 

The anti missile system has no warhead so not a threat to China but they are worried about the radar seeing it's offensive and defensive missile systems.  China expanding all over the South China Sea but worried about others "seeing" its missile systems.  

 

The reason the THAAD system was deployed so far south is because residents in the area where it should have been deployed were afraid of the radiation from the radar.  The So. Korean President must play the political game.  Seems like the additional equipment had to have been known by just about everyone.  He is just covering his ass as a political move.  If the So Koreans don't want the system, take it out.  Maybe Moon should just have a meeting with Kim and see what the fat boy wants.  When he finds out he can't appease Kim he can go back to business as usual.

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