18 February 2018
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  • » 02/03/2017, 13.41


    Seoul and Washington in favour of missile shield opposed by Beijing, Moscow and the Korean Church

    Mattis and South Korea’s acting president reiterated the need for the THAAD anti-missile system. For the Chinese, Trump is strengthening the US presence in Northeast Asia. Catholic Church is against turning the Korean peninsula into the focus of a new cold war.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) – Seoul (AsiaNews) – The new US defence secretary, James Mattis, and Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn reaffirmed on Thursday their resolve to deploy the anti-ballistic Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in South Korea to counter North Korea’s nuclear programme.

    Mattis’ two-day trip to South Korea, which will end today and be followed by a stop in Japan, is designed to get US allies to spend more on regional defence.

    The THAAD, which costs 800 million US dollars per weapon, provides high-altitude radar monitoring and "automatic response" against threats, but has been immediately opposed by China, Russia and the Korean Catholic Church.

    Beijing and Moscow are concerned that the monitoring on the peninsula is also directed at them. Russia, in addition, fears an escalation of tension between the two Koreas, with unpredictable actions from Pyongyang.

    “While Trump’s ‘America first’ pledge may lead to US retreat from many of the world’s affairs, he is going to strengthen the US presence in Northeast Asia,” said Cui Zhiying, Director of the Korean Peninsula Research Centre at Tongji University.

    The Korean Catholic Church has long opposed THAAD, which could transform the peninsula into "the centre of a new Cold War".

    On 15 July 2016, in an official statement, the bishops reiterated that "peace is never achieved with weapons but through faith." For this reason, they asked South Korean authorities to drop the THAAD system and their North Korean counterparts to halt their nuclear enrichment.

    In addition, the bishops called for greater joint economic development opportunities between the two Koreas. The path, they wrote, is not via "military pressure" but through "dialogue, reconciliation and cooperation."

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    See also

    16/04/2012 KOREA
    Kim Jong-un speaks (for the first time), greets South Koreans
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    29/02/2008 NORTH KOREA
    Clapton invitation means Kim Jong-il has chosen his heir
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    15/04/2011 NORTH KOREA
    Kim Jong-un staking succession on the ‘Day of the Sun’
    Kim Jong-il’s third son is the heir designate to the throne of Pyongyang, but has not yet received the official investiture, which he desperately needs. After sponsoring real estate developments, he is betting his future on following in the footsteps of his grandfather Kim Il-sung, whose birthday today it is, in order to convince the people that he is different from his father and that he can save them from destruction.

    14/02/2017 19:02:00 KOREA
    Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam murdered

    Two North Korean female agents apparently poisoned the victim at Kuala Lumpur airport. He was living in exile since 2001. Heir apparent to Kim Jong-il, he hoped to see the fall of Kim Jong-un’s regime with him as successor. The case appears to be another dynastic murder.

    13/10/2010 NORTH KOREA – CHINA
    Beijing to protect Kim Jong-il’s first-born
    Kim Jong-nam, the deal leader’s first son, fell from grade in 2001 and now lives in Macau. In recent days, he criticised the regime’s dynastic succession, causing the ire of his brother Kim Jong-un, official heir to North Korea’s dictator.

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