Moscow has warned Washington against plans to deploy a ballistic missile system in South Korea, saying it may further complicate the situation of the volatile Korean Peninsula.
On Tuesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the US plan to dispatch THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) interceptor systems and long-range radars to South Korea will prompt the regional countries into “an arms race.”
“In a region where the situation is already extremely complicated in terms of security, this could serve as another push toward an arms race in northeast Asia and further complicate any resolution of the nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula,” read the statement.
Moscow further voiced concern over the plan’s detrimental impact on the international security.
“Such a development cannot but cause concern about the destructive influence of the United States’ global missile defense on international security,” the statement added.
Moscow also called on Seoul to reconsider its military cooperation with Washington over ballistic missiles, recommending that South Korea “thoroughly assess whether US interceptor missiles and radars might have more negative aspects than positive ones.”
On Monday, Kim Min-seok, spokesman for South Korea’s Defense Ministry, told reporters that Seoul has yet to decide whether to authorize the deployment.
Meanwhile, a high-ranking Russian military official warned that Moscow will take necessary measures against the US military presence on the Korean Peninsula.
“We will have to boost our strategic means in this region in order to be able to properly respond to elements of the American missile defense shield, should they appear there,” said Gen. Yury Yakubov, coordinator of the Russian Defense Ministry’s general inspectors department.
The Russian official added that it was “unlikely” that China and other Northeast Asian states favor such a deployment.
This is while the United States says the missile system is aimed at acting as a deterrent against North Korea’s provocative moves.
The Korean Peninsula has been locked in a cycle of military rhetoric since the Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953. No peace deal has been signed since then, meaning that Pyongyang and Seoul remain technically at war.