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Moscow warns THAAD deployment in South Korea may start regional arms race

The security situation on the Korean peninsula is a not an easy one, the Russian Foreign Ministry warns

MOSCOW, March 9. /TASS/. The deployment of the US Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems to South Korea, which has begun recently, may trigger a missile race and break strategic balance in the Asian-Pacific region, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

"Media reports say that the deployment of the US THAAD systems has begun in South Korea. Washington is taking practical steps in order to expand the US global missile defense system, which will particularly involve the Asian-Pacific region," the statement reads.

"These developments are fraught with negative consequences for regional and global strategic stability," the Russian foreign ministry stressed. "The security situation in the Asian Pacific region is already complicated but now another destructive factor has emerged that may further hamper efforts to solve the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear issue as well as trigger a regional arms race, particularly a missile race."

On March 7, the US Pacific Command announced that the United States had started to deploy the THAAD missile systems to South Korea. The first systems have been delivered to the Osan air base located near the city of Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers from the country’s capital of Seoul.

A THAAD battery consists of six truck-mounted launchers, 48 interceptors, a mobile control and communications center and an AN/TPY-2 radar. The systems are expected to be put into operation within a month or two.

South Korea and the US agreed on the deployment of the US missile systems in July 2016.