China, Russia agree on more countermeasures against US anti-missile system

South Korean opposition lawmaker Song Young-gil (left) meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Jan 4, 2017, to discuss the planned deployment of an advanced US anti-missile system in South Korea.
South Korean opposition lawmaker Song Young-gil (left) meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Jan 4, 2017, to discuss the planned deployment of an advanced US anti-missile system in South Korea.PHOTO: EPA

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - 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, state news agency Xinhua reported on Friday (Jan 13).

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

China and Russia held a joint anti-missile drill last May after Washington and Seoul began discussions over installing the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system to counter any North Korean threats.

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

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