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US missile defense in South Korea affects Russia’s security — Lavrov

March 28, 2017, 12:57 UTC+3

The Russian top diplomat warns the United States’ missile defense potential in South Korea affects the security of Russia, China and other countries

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© AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. The United States’ missile defense potential in South Korea affects Russia’s strategic force and this is a risky undertaking, Russian Foreign Minister said while answering questions from the weekly Argumenty I Fakty’s readers.

"At the same time it is a hard fact that Northeast Asia sees growing military activities for which not only Pyongyang is responsible," Lavrov said. "These days US-South Korean naval exercise, unprecedented in scale, is proceeding off the peninsula’s shores with the most advanced weapons, including strategic ones, being used. The purpose is to practice a scenario of an attack against North Korea.

"We are being told that US interceptors will be targeted exclusively against North Korean missiles," Lavrov said. "But when the issue on the agenda involves weapons that are part of a global strategic system, such as the missile defense, one should bear in mind not the intentions but the potentials."

"In the meantime, the potential of the US missile defense, including the THAAD systems, concerns our strategic forces and causes a negative effect on the security of Russia, China and other countries. Naturally, in cooperation with our Chinese partners we are firmly against the Pentagon’s risky schemes."

"There is only one way of ending this spiral of tensions. All parties concerned, in the first place, the United States and North Korea, should at least stop the show of military muscle, come to the negotiating table at last and agree on some basic things, including the principles of non-aggression and avoidance to use force or the threat of force," Lavrov said. "This is the sole way of achieving a comprehensive settlement in the region, including the nuclear missile aspect of the situation. There is no alternative to it. Russia will go on promoting this in every way possible."

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