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North Korean nuclear tests

China, Russia agree on measures to counter S. Korean anti-missile shield

Two nations formulate strategy to respond to US-backed missile defence system, which they argue poses a threat to their own security

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 January, 2017, 10:16am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 January, 2017, 11:15pm

China and Russia have agreed to take further unspecified countermeasures in response to a US plan to deploy an anti-missile system in South Korea, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported on Friday.

The countermeasures “will be aimed at safeguarding the interests of China and Russia and the strategic balance in the region”, Xinhua said, citing a statement released after a China-Russia security meeting.

South Korea vows to deploy US missile system as opposition lawmakers head to China

The two nations held an anti-missile drill last May after Washington and Seoul began discussions over installing the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system to counter any threats from North Korea.

THAAD is now due to be deployed on a South Korean golf course, unsettling Moscow and Beijing, which worry that the system’s powerful radar will compromise their security and do nothing to lower tensions on the Korean peninsula.

China and Russia said in October they would hold a second drill this year.

“China and Russia urged the United States and South Korea to address their security concerns and stop the deployment of THAAD on the Korean Peninsula,” Xinhua quoted the statement as saying.

North Korea’s drive to develop nuclear weapons capability has angered China, Pyongyang’s sole major diplomatic and economic supporter.

Why does China react so strongly over the South Korea-based anti-missile system?

However, Beijing fears THAAD and its radar have a range that would extend into China.

South Korea’s trade minister said on Thursday it might complain to China about actions perceived to have been taken in retaliation for its decision to deploy the US anti-missile system.