China yesterday condemned North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile and urged restraint by all sides after the US and South Korea held a military exercise in response to the test.
“China opposes North Korea’s violations of UN Security Council resolutions and [its actions] contrary to the general aspirations of the international community,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang (耿爽) said.
Beijing “urged North Korea to abide by UN resolutions and stop taking actions that could worsen the situation,” Geng said in a brief statement on the ministry’s Web site.
“At the same time, [China] hopes that all parties concerned will exercise caution and avoid aggravating tensions and act together to preserve peace and stability on the peninsula,” he added.
Washington, Tokyo, Seoul and the EU all swiftly condemned Friday’s missile test.
The US and South Korea conducted a live-fire exercise using surface-to-surface missiles after the launch, the US Army said.
The heads of the US and South Korean militaries discussed “military response options” after North Korea’s launch, the Pentagon said.
China, Pyongyang’s main economic and diplomatic ally, opposes any military intervention and has called for a resolution through dialogue.
The test has prompted the South to speed up the deployment of a US missile defense system, South Korean Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo said.
The US military would also roll out “strategic assets” in the South in response to the test, he said, without providing further details.
Strategic assets normally refer to high-profile weapons systems, such as stealth bombers and aircraft carriers.
Parts of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system were transported to the country under the government of former South Korean president Park Geun-hye, but new South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month suspended deployment, citing the need for a new environmental impact assessment.
“We will soon start consultations on the tentative deployment” of the remaining components of the THAAD battery in response to Pyongyang’s most recent test, Song told journalists.
The THAAD battery is composed of six interceptor missile launchers. Two launchers have been tentatively deployed at a golf course-turned-US military base in Seongju County, about 300km south of Seoul.
A senior official at South Korea’s presidential Blue House said Seoul had also informed Beijing of the decision.
The THAAD deployment has infuriated China, which has argued that it will destabilize the region.
The South Korean Ministry of National Defense also released a video of a newly developed ballistic missile, which it said was one of the world’s “most accurate and powerful” weapons and capable of striking “any target in the North at any time and any place.”
INCONVENIENT: The US’ new air travel policy requires all non-citizen travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but the Taiwanese vaccine is not on the list The US government next month is to require all non-US nationals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the nation, but the Taiwanese vaccine manufactured by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗) is not on Washington’s list of acceptable vaccines. The new international air travel policy, which is to take effect on Nov. 8, requires all non-citizen, non-immigrant air travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before flying to the US. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, the White House said. Vaccines
DOWN, NOT OUT: The election was not a total defeat, as Chen still received 73,433 votes against the recall, and his party has ‘grown up’ through the process, he said Voters in Taichung yesterday recalled Taiwan Statebuilding Party Legislator Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟), making him the first legislator in the nation’s history to lose a recall election. A total of 77,899 votes were cast to recall Chen, while 73,433 voted against, the Taichung City Election Commission said, adding that 51.72 percent of the city’s second electoral district turned out. The Central Election Commission is to confirm the final figures within the next seven days, it said. Commission data showed that there are 294,976 eligible voters in the second district, comprised of Dadu (大肚), Shalu (沙鹿), Longjing (龍井), Wufong (霧峰) and Wurih (烏日) districts. Chen won
MILITARY RESOLVE: Washington does not want a cold war with Beijing, it just wants ‘China to understand that we’re not going to step back,’ Biden told a CNN town hall The US would come to Taiwan’s defense and has a commitment to defend the nation China claims as its own, US President Joe Biden said on Thursday, although the White House later said there was no change in policy toward Taiwan. “Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” Biden said at a CNN town hall meeting when asked if the US would come to the defense of Taiwan, which has been facing mounting military and political pressure from Beijing to accept Chinese sovereignty. While Washington is required by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, it has long
AFTERSHOCKS LIKELY: A hiker was hurt by falling rocks at the Taroko National Park, while a tower crane was damaged at a construction site in New Taipei City A series of earthquakes yesterday injured several people, damaged buildings and disrupted transportation. A magnitude 4.5 earthquake struck 8km northeast of Hualien County Hall at 12:38pm at a depth of 23.8km, the Central Weather Bureau’s Web site showed. It was followed at 1:11pm by a magnitude 6.5 quake centered near Yilan County’s Nanao Township (南澳) at a depth of 66.8km. A magnitude 5.4 earthquake followed less than a minute later, with its epicenter near the county’s Datong Township (大同), at a depth of 67.3km. A magnitude 4.2 quake again struck Nanao at 2:05pm at a depth of 63km. The magnitude 6.5 earthquake was the strongest