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South Korea-US missile deal, military drills boost China tension

Frank Smith
Press TV, Seoul

The recent agreements between the US and South Korea have sparked tensions in south east Asia with China warning them against what it called "playing with fire" on issues that impinge on China's sovereignty. 

In their Washington summit last week US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in made a number of agreements concerning national security. Their joint statement also mentioned quote “preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.” China responded Monday.

The US has also pledged to provide vaccines for all of the South Korean troops that interact with America’s 28,500 soldiers deployed to South Korea. Reports suggest this may enable large-scale joint military exercises to resume. Activists argue if the drills resume, North Korea will respond. 

President Biden and President Moon also made a deal on South Korea’s growing missile development.

South Korea and the United States in 1979 agreed that Seoul’s missiles would be limited to 180 kilometers in range with a 500 kilogram payload. Subsequent agreements over the years have gradually increased South Korea’s guidelines, which have now been lifted altogether.

South Korea will now soon be able to bring regional capitals - including Beijing, and perhaps beyond - within range of its ballistic missiles.

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