US Missile Defense Systems in S Korea Could Spark Asian Arms Race - Moscow
09:35 24.03.2015(updated 10:33 24.03.2015)
The Russian Foreign Ministry also expressed concerns that the expansion of US defense missile systems in South Korea could complicate negotiations with North Korea in regard to its nuclear capabilities.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Moscow believes that the possible deployment of US missile defense systems in South Korea could spark an arms race and hamper negotiations on North Korea's nuclear ambitions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
"[We] have paid attention to the developing discussion in Seoul of the possible deployment of the American THAAD missile defense systems in the country, which is in the background of the US Armed Forces investigating areas of the possible deployment of THAAD regiments in a number of provinces in the Republic of Korea," the Foreign Ministry said.
The ministry expressed its concern that the expansion of US defense missile systems in South Korea could spark an arms race in Asia and complicate negotiations with North Korea in regard to its nuclear capabilities.
"In a region that is characterized with a truly complex situation in the area of security, one more 'thorn' could appear that could prompt an arms race in northeastern Asia and further complicate the solution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula," the statement reads.
The Wall Street Journal reported in May 2014, citing US defense sources, that the country is considering placing an advanced missile defense system in South Korea. However, Seoul has not received an official request yet.
China has also repeatedly criticized alleged US plans to deploy THAAD in South Korea, voicing concerns that it could damage stability in the region.
The US Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) can shoot down short, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
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