Russia has warned the United States against deploying its ballistic missile defense system in South Korea. Russian foreign ministry said in a statement Tuesday that such a move could threaten regional security. The U.S. argues that the deployment in South Korea would act as a deterrent to consistent military provocations by North Korea.
THAAD deployment to trigger an arms race in the region
Last week, North Korea warned that the country was fully prepared to use its nuclear weapons “anytime.” The ballistic missile defense system, known as THAAD or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, will strictly be defensive, the U.S. officials said. But Russia said that such a development only raises concern “about the destructive influence of the United States’ global missile defense on international security.”
The situation in Northeast Asia is already complicated in terms of security. The THAAD deployment would only act as a catalyst to the arms race in the region. United States has stationed 28,000 troops in South Korea to defend the country against North Korea. A few days ago, China also warned against the deployment of THAAD, saying that it would undermine peace and stability in the region. Beijing fears that the U.S. could use the missile defense system to target its missiles.
Russia strengthening ties with North Korea
Amid increased sanctions from the U.S. and European Union, Russia has been strengthening its diplomatic and economic ties with North Korea. The two countries have declared 2015 a “year of friendship” between Moscow and Pyongyang. North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un will visit Moscow in May to attend Russia’s Victory Day celebrations.
A few days ago, Russia warned Denmark that the latter’s warships would become a target of Russian nuclear weapons if Denmark joined NATO’s missile defense shield. Mikhail Vanin, the Russian ambassador to Denmark, said that Copenhagen would become a part of the threat against Russia if it joins the missile shield. Last year, Denmark announced that it would equip its warships with advanced radar systems to become an integral part of NATO’s missile shield.