03/08/2017, 10.24
CHINA - KOREA
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Wang Yi: No to Thaad anti-missile system

The Chinese foreign minister calls on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear program and US-Seoul to cancel the military exercises. "Two accelerating trains, coming toward each other with neither side willing to give way". Beijing fears Thaad radar could be used for espionage. Boycott of Korean goods. Korean Church against Thaad because it is dragging the peninsula into a "new Cold War".

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today reiterated his nation’s firm opposition to the deployment of the Thaad anti-missile system in South Korea, saying that it is a mistake and threatens Seoul’s own security.

In a press conference on the margins of the current National People’s Congress in the Chinese capital, Wang Yi pointed out that the deployment of the system is the biggest problem in the relations between China and South Korea.

Yesterday, the South Korean Ministry of Defense and the US command of the Korean Forces said they had brought some missile launchers and other elements of Thaad to the US base in Osan, 70 km south of Seoul, to begin the official deployment of the system.

The Thaad is designed to intercept short and medium range missiles, in a radius of 3 thousand kilometers at an altitude of 40-150 km.

A battery of Thaad (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) consists of six launchers mounted on trucks, 48 ​​interceptors (eight for each ramp), a focus control, a communication unit and a powerful radar (AN / TPY-2) . In the past, Beijing has expressed its opposition because it states that the radar is so powerful it can be used to spy on signals from China. But Seoul and Washington have always reiterated that the system is merely defensive and poses no threat to other countries in the region. Since the US and South Korea decided to launch the Thaad, China has implemented a boycott of Korean goods.

According to Korean military sources, the first powerful Thaad radar will be delivered this month and will go into operation by April.

Referring to the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Wang said that it is necessary on the one hand that Pyongyang stop its nuclear program and on the other that Washington and Seoul cancel their military exercises which are currently underway, which North Korea interprets as a preparation for invasion of its territory. Three days ago, Pyongyang fired four ballistic missiles into the Sea of ​​Japan in protest.

The situation on the Korean peninsula - said Wang - is like "two accelerating trains, coming toward each other with neither side willing to give way."

The Korean Catholic Church has long been opposed to the installation of Thaad. In a paper published last July, they claim to fear that the peninsula can become "the center of a new Cold War", reducing the chances of reconciliation between the two Koreas and development of the entire population.

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