World

Russia points to anti-missile system risk

RUSSIA has criticized the deployment of a US anti-missile system in South Korea, saying it poses “serious risks” to the region.

The US began installing the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea earlier this month in response to what they claim North Korea’s intensifying ballistic missile development.

Allies Washington and Seoul say it is for defensive purposes but Russia and China say it threatens regional security.

Russia, meanwhile, took advantage of diplomatic and defense talks with US ally Japan to criticize the development. “We drew attention to the serious risks posed by the deployment of elements of the American global anti-missile system in the Asia-Pacific region,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Tokyo yesterday.

“If this is meant to counter threats coming from North Korea, then the deployment of this system and accumulating armaments in the region is a disproportionate reply,” he added, apparently referring to THAAD.

Lavrov’s comments came after talks between the foreign and defense ministers of Russia and Japan, and also followed a visit to the region by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

North Korea did come in for criticism at the Russia-Japan meeting for its nuclear and missile development.

“We shared the view that we will strongly urge North Korea to exercise self-restraint over further provocative actions and follow UN Security Council resolutions,” said Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

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