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Analyst says US missile defense components in South Korea spell new spiral of arms race

October 12, 18:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The expert warns that in response to the US missile defense buildup other countries may start along the path of acquiring nuclear capability
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Missiles to be installed on a jet fighter on the USS George Washington during the US-South Korean military drills in Busan

Missiles to be installed on a jet fighter on the USS George Washington during the US-South Korean military drills in Busan

© AP Photo/Yonhap, Lee Jung-hoon

MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. The deployment of US missile defense components in the Korean Peninsula unequivocally spell a new spiral of the arms race in Asia, the executive director of the National Committee for BRICS Studies, Georgy Toloraya, has told TASS.

"In any case this is the beginning of a new spiral of the arms race in Asia," Toloraya, the head of the Russian Strategy in Asia Center under the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Economics, told TASS on the sidelines of a discussion by experts entitled The Post-Western World: Principles of a Polycentric World Order of the Valdai club. "China will have to react to this. Russia has already responded by deploying the corresponding counter-means. Japan’s reaction is likely to follow."

"The United States claims that the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense in South Korea is a means of protection from North Korean missiles. In the meantime, it is very clear that, firstly, the interceptors are located not there where South Korea’s crucial facilities require protection. They are rather a shield covering US military installations," Toloraya said. "Secondly, experts are unanimous that such a system is impregnable to North Korean missiles in principle."

Toloraya is certain that missile defense components are targeted not only against North Korean missiles.

"China is certain that the system’s radars are capable of monitoring all military activity, including missile launches, in the whole of Northeastern China," he said. "Russia finds it worrisome each missile defense component may become the first step towards creating a global missile defense system and its Asian segment, which directly threatens the strategic balance of forces involving Russia. This explains why both Beijing’s and Moscow’s reaction has been so sharp.

Toloraya also said that in response to the US missile defense buildup "other countries may start along the path of acquiring nuclear capability, which will ruin the current world order." 

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