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Russian analyst says US to deploy THAAD in South Korea in any case

August 03, 20:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The decision to deploy the THAAD system on the pretext it will be a response to North Korea’s nuclear threat is certainly aimed at changing the strategic balance in the region
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© EPA/KIM CHUL-SOO

MOSCOW, August 3. /TASS/. The United States will push ahead with its plans for deploy the anti-missile system THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) in South Korea no matter what, the director of the Russian Strategy for Asia Center at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Economics, Georgy Toloraya, has told TASS. He is certain that the interest of South Koreans will be ignored.

"The decision to deploy the THAAD system on the pretext it will be a response to North Korea’s nuclear threat is certainly aimed at changing the strategic balance in the region. This goes without saying," Toloraya said. "In part, it will undermine China’s strategic deterrence potential and China is very sensitive about that."

"Although its missile forces are beyond the THAAD’s range of operation Russia suspects that this is just the first step towards creating what may become a missile shield in Asia, identical to the missile shield in Europe," Toloraya said.

"Naturally, Russia is firmly against these plans and it acts in concert with our Chinese partners," he said. 

"The way I see it, this will happen in any case. The Americans will neglect the interests of South Koreans in this case," Toloraya believes. He suspects that South Korea’s interests will be harmed because China will conduct a certain policy of sanctions against it (China is South Korea’s important trading partner - TASS), "but this will hardly stop the Americans."

The decision to deploy the THAAD in the south of the Korean Peninsula was made at the beginning of July. The ground-based missile defense system is designed to intercept the warheads of ballistic missiles at the end of the mid-course phase and during the approach to the target, and also to protect cities and key facilities from ballistic missiles - both short-range and strategic ones. A nuclear missile threat from North Korea was named as the reason for stationing a THAAD unit on the permanent basis. Russia and China are strongly against these plans.

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