Sun, Oct 02, 2016 - Page 1 News List

China paper says US, S Korea will ‘pay’ for THAAD

Reuters, BEIJING

An undated photograph released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency on Sept. 20 shows a high-power engine of a carrier rocket going through ground tests, a move Seoul said was designed to showcase Pyongyang’s progress toward being able to target the US east coast.

Photo: AFP

The US and South Korea are destined to “pay the price” for their decision to deploy an advanced missile defense system that will inevitably prompt a “counterattack,” China’s top newspaper said yesterday.

Tension on the Korean Peninsula has been high this year, beginning with North Korea’s fourth nuclear test in January, which was followed by a satellite launch, a string of tests of various missiles, and its fifth and largest nuclear test last month.

In July, South Korea agreed with the US to deploy the US’ Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to protect against any North Korean threats.

It aims to deploy the system on a golf course, a South Korean Ministry of Defense official said on Friday.

However, the plan has angered China, which worries that THAAD’s powerful radar would compromise its security and do nothing to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula.

In a commentary, the Chinese Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said China’s opposition to THAAD would never change, as it was a serious threat to the regional strategic security balance.

“Like any other country, China can neither be vague nor indifferent on security matters that affect its core interests,” the newspaper said in the commentary, published under the pen name Zhong Sheng (中聲), meaning “Voice of China,” often used to give views on foreign policy.

The US and South Korea have to wake up to the fact that the Korean Peninsula is no place to take risks, it added.

“If the United States and South Korea harm the strategic security interests of countries in the region, including China, then they are destined to pay the price for this and receive a proper counterattack,” the paper added, without elaborating.

China has repeatedly promised to take specific steps to respond since the THAAD decision was announced, but has given no details about what it might do.

The US and South Korea have said THAAD does not threaten China’s security or target any country other than North Korea.

China is North Korea’s most important diplomatic and economic partner, but Beijing has been infuriated by its nuclear and missile tests and has signed up for UN sanctions against Pyongyang.

However, China has continued to call for talks to resolve the North Korean issue.

At a reception in Pyongyang on Friday for the National Day of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese Ambassador to Pyongyang Li Jinjun (李進軍) said his country wanted to consolidate its friendship with North Korea, China’s Xinhua news agency said yesterday.

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