South Korea's Moon issues strongest comments to date on 'comfort women' deal

Jun 26, 2017, 01:22
South Korea's Moon issues strongest comments to date on 'comfort women' deal

At the end of May, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in ordered an investigation into what has been described as the "secret" entry into the country of four U.S. rocket launcher as part of the USA missile defense system THAAD.

Moon today revealed that the original diplomatic deal on THAAD, reached before his election, was to deploy a single launcher in 2017 and five additional launchers in 2018, but that the U.S. had "mysteriously accelerated" that before the election.

Moon's remarks revealed for the first time details of the so-called original THAAD agreement, while apparently shedding more light on his new administration's earlier decision to temporarily suspend the deployment of the U.S. missile shield.

Shortly after his election, Moon announced that he'd learned the U.S. had sent four additional launchers to the site and was in the process of setting them up.

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SEOUL, South Korea South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday observed the test-firing of a new midrange missile being developed to counter North Korean threats, saying Seoul must be able to militarily "dominate" the North for future engagement to work.

Seoul and Washington agreed in July past year to place one THAAD battery in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province.

The report said during a meeting with South Korean foreign ministry officials, Shannon asked for Seoul to deploy the remaining four THAAD launchers within the year.

By such capability, he means the North's ability to build a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting mainland U.S.

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"For some reason that I do not know, this entire THAAD process was accelerated", Moon was quoted as saying.

Pyongyang's patron, China, has also condemned THAAD while engaging in a costly unofficial trade war with South Korea over its decision to install the missile defense system.

"Resumption of dialogue with North Korea may need to be pursued in close cooperation and consultation with the United States, but South Korea does not need to be allowed by the U.S.to do so", Kwun Hyuk-ki, a Cheong Wa Dae spokesman, told Yonhap News Agency.

South Korea has had to pay a significant price for THAAD deployment in the form of domestic unrest and even economic sanctions from China, its largest trading partner. "They've also acquired some knowledge of the SM3 because the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is already using it with its Aegis warships, which was probably a consideration", the expert said.

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