U.S. missile system in South Korea will harm China's security: Beijing

The THAAD's radar can locate missiles far beyond North Korean territory, causing China and Russian Federation to repeatedly voice serious concerns over the deployment.

"From the very beginning of the discussion of this issue we have consistently and invariably pointed at the most unsafe consequences of such a decision and called for our partners not to make this wrong choice", the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

North Korea on Thursday reacted angrily to what it described as Washington's "declaration of war" by blacklisting Kim for rights abuses, calling the move a "hideous crime", according to the official KCNA news agency.

Made by the U.S. Army, THAAD can intercept incoming ballistic missiles as it enters what is known as their "terminal" phase (when the missile starts to aim downwards, not just in its upward launch trajectory) at incredible speed and altitude. In the meantime, North Korea has continued to conduct intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) launches as well. It has been discussing the feasibility of deployment and potential locations for the THAAD unit since February, after a North Korean rocket launch put an object into space orbit.

Professor Lee Jung-nam, at the Asiatic Research Institute at Korea University, cautioned the region could enter a "new cold war", with China, Russia and North Korea on one side, and United States and its allies South Korea and Japan on the other.

Meanwhile, North Korea condemned the first-ever USA sanctions imposed on leader Kim Jong Un.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Friday the US continues to need Chinese leadership and influence with respect to North Korea. It added that deployment is not conducive to achieving denuclearization on the peninsula and maintaining its peace and stability.

The ministry stressed that Moscow warned from the very start about risky consequences which will follow inevitably if the decision is made to deploy USA missile defense system in South Korea.

"China strongly urges the USA and South Korea to stop the "THAAD" anti-missile system deployment process", the statement said, adding the system would not aid the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

The Pentagon took pains to stress that the THAAD system deployed to Korea will be "focused exclusively on North Korean nuclear and missile threats" and not directed at any other nations.

North Korea has already been sanctioned heavily because of its nuclear weapons program.

"Late last month, the U.S., Japan and South Korea held their first trilateral missile defense drills in waters off of the state of Hawaii".

Here are some key questions about the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, or THAAD, system. Some believe, however, that the North does have the ability to mount nuclear warheads on shorter range missiles.

A South Korean defense official said in response to China's strong protest, "The Defense Ministry's position is that there is nothing more important than protecting our people's lives and property".

The BBC's Korea Correspondent Stephen Evans says that Beijing fears the system's radars would be able to see far into its territory. -South Korea alliance's deployment of the advanced missile defense system.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said there is no reason China should be concerned.

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