Deployment of US Missile Shield THAAD 'Mysteriously Accelerated', South Korea's President Says

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At the moment, there is only a hotline between the deputy defense ministers of the two countries.

Thousands of protesters marched near the USA embassy in Seoul on Saturday, accusing President Donald Trump of "forcing" South Korea to deploy a controversial American missile defence system opposed by China.

On Thursday, Moon told Reuters that according to the "original agreement", only one missile battery, consisting of six missile launchers, was due to be deployed in 2017, with five others due to be imported and brought online thereafter. The Japanese government said it is deploying the Aegis Ashore to "enhance its ability to respond to the launch of North Korean ballistic missiles", according to the Asahi.

The resolution also called for the two countries to work together to "fully and effectively enforce existing sanctions (on North Korea) and consider the need to take immediate action to pass additional and meaningful new measures".

Korea temporarily suspended the Thaad deployment, citing a need for an environmental impact assessment of the USA missile shield.

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The issue of South Korea's suspension of the THAAD deployment comes against the backdrop of the death of United States college student Otto Warmbier shortly after his release from a 17-month captivity by North Korea.

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

During the two-day meeting, the two leaders were widely expected to discuss the THAAD deployment.

"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 USA to do so", Kwun Hyuk-ki, a Presidency spokesman, told Yonhap News Agency.

The presidential policy advisory panel is speeding up the completion of a report on the Moon Jae-in government's 100 major national tasks so that it can report it to the president prior to his visit to the United States for summit talks set for later this week, an official at the panel said Sunday. You want to start a dialogue without any concessions by the North Koreans. (KOREAN) "We will maintain our security with a strong South Korea-U.S. alliance and overwhelming defense capabilities". "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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