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20 May 2017, 02:35 | Darnell Patrick
Thomas Peter Reuters
The United States and South Korea have said the deployment is aimed purely at defending against any threat from North Korea, which experts have thought for months is preparing for its sixth nuclear test in defiance of United Nations sanctions.
North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador says the country will rapidly strengthen its nuclear strike capability as long as the United States maintains its "hostile policy" toward the country.
Kim said the launch showed the "highly developed stage of science and technology in the field of national defense attained by the DPRK" which he said is "of great and special significance" in ensuring peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the region.
"Nuclear North Korea is a cause of concern for the worldwide community and Russian Federation is also concerned as this country borders it and we can not but be puzzled when they develop their missile technologies and nuclear potential, this concerns us", TASS quoted Patrushev as saying. She was surrounded by Japanese and South Korean ambassadors.
President Moon's envoy to China, former Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, landed in Beijing Thursday with a letter from President Moon to deliver to China President Xi Jinping.
North Korea continues to engage in low levels of activity at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, from where Pyongyang sent an earth-observation satellite into orbit in February 2016.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who took office last week, has campaigned on a more moderate approach towards the North but he has said it must change its attitude of insisting on arms development before dialogue can be possible.
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South Korean retailer Lotte, which provided the land for the THAAD deployment, has also been boycotted by Chinese customers and seen construction halted on an amusement park it was building in northeastern China.
"President Moon said he hopes I'd also pass on his gratitude to you for your message of congratulation and the telephone call after he was elected", Lee said, before reporters were asked to leave the room.
Wang on Thursday reiterated calls for its dismantling.
In recent weeks Beijing and Seoul have signaled a desire to fix relations following the election of Moon, who has taken a friendlier stance toward China than his conservative predecessor.
"Stopping the deployment of THAAD is the bottom line of China", the newspaper said.
However, Xi's comments helped push up the shares of several South Korean companies that rely on the spending of Chinese tourists, whose visits have fallen sharply amid the THAAD dispute.
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