China, Russia protest US Thaad missile defence in South Korea

Members of progressive South Korean civic groups shout slogans to rally against the national defence policy in Seoul, on July 8, 2016.
Members of progressive South Korean civic groups shout slogans to rally against the national defence policy in Seoul, on July 8, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

MOSCOW (AFP, REUTERS) -  China’s foreign ministry said on Friday (July 8) it had summoned the American and South Korean ambassadors to lodge protests over US' deployment of the Thaad advanced missile defence system in South Korea, while Russia warned the deployment would have "irreparable consequences".

“The United States, supported by its partners, are continuing to build up the potential of the Asia-Pacific segment of the global anti-missile defence system, which undermines the established strategic balance in the (region) and beyond,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.  

These actions “most negatively affect global strategic stability,” the statement said, following the announcement by the US and South Korea that they would deploy the  Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, or Thaad, to thwart potential attacks from North Korea.  

 
 

China Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei announced at a daily news briefing that Beijing had lodged its protests with the US and South Korean envoys. The ministry had said earlier on Friday the deployment of Thaad will harm regional peace and stability and do nothing to help denuclearise the Korean peninsula.

China and Russia have been saying for months that the defence system, called the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, or THAAD, is unnecessary and would tip the balance of power in the Pacific towards the United States.