Why Seoul and Washington are rushing THAAD deployment

A THAAD battery normally consists of six launchers that can fire up to 48 interceptor missiles, but only two launchers have been operational at the site.

USA ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the United States would be seeking a vote at the council on new sanctions on September 11.

Putin gave no indication on Thursday whether Moscow would back that resolution; but he and top Russian government officials have previously condemned the idea of tightening sanctions and shown little enthusiasm to stop modest fuel exports to Pyongyang or send home North Korean workers.

Abe, who will meet Putin in Vladivostok on Thursday, said before his departure from Japan that “we must make North Korea understand there is no bright future for the country if it pursues the current path”.

Amid the rising tensions, Seoul installed the four remaining launchers of the US anti-missile Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on a former golf course in the south early on Thursday.

“The worldwide community must unite in applying the greatest possible pressure on North Korea”, Abe said in a speech alongside Putin and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in at an economic forum in Vladivostok. Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon addressed the issue in a press conference on Thursday, saying that the nation’s security needs to be the priority now.

In addition, US President Donald Trump, along with the South Korean Prime Minister, Moon and the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, are working towards an oil embargo against the North – a move outrightly opposed by China and Russian Federation.

The two leaders felt Russian and Chinese involvement was paramount and agreed to work towards that goal.

North Korea is escalating an overt challenge to the peace, prosperity, law and order of the region and indeed the entire world“.

The Soseong-ri residents say they do not have a political motive but are against the deployment of Thaad as their lives have been disrupted by the dozens of military helicopters, buses and trucks that travel through the small melon-farming town of 80 residents.

South Korea has pushed for more punishment and Moon in Vladivostok said that “perhaps the time has come for stronger sanctions” on Pyongyang. Moon temporarily halted the installation after taking office to conduct more environmental reviews and ease residents’ concerns. Trump, who also once favored talks with Pyongyang, recently said this was “not the answer”.

The South Korean government has called the Thursday deployment “provisional“, acknowledging that an additional environmental impact assessment of the THAAD system is needed.

Vladimir Putin has attacked Donald Trump over the situation in North Korea, saying conflict with nuclear weapons must be avoided.

The prime minister’s statement was also echoed by the nation’s defense, interior and environment ministers during a joint briefing. It has now been updated.

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