Korea closely monitors China's further moves over THAAD deployment

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the

President Moon Jae-in ordered the deployment of additional THAAD launchers soon after Pyongyang launched a second intercontinental ballistic missile in late July. The Russian president said the Eurasian Economic Union and South Korea will establish a free trade zone and install a joint working party that would push ahead for a South Korea - EEU free trade agreement.

The comments come after Putin said at the BRICS summit in China on Monday that even though North Korea possess a nuclear arsenal, sanctions against the country are "useless and ineffective". Its sixth nuclear test on Sunday prompted the United States to speak about a "military response" and South Korea to conduct major military exercises.

Moon also met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday on the sidelines of a regional economic forum in Vladivostok, Russia.

"The current administration, like the former Park Geun-hye administration, is committing an illegal act", a local official said.

He called on all North Korea's neighbours to show restraint, suggesting the bellicose rhetoric and military drills are "playing into their hands".

The US is also pushing for the United Nations Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea, ban its exports of textiles and the hiring of North Korean laborers overseas, and subject leader Kim Jong-un to an asset freeze, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

Coping with the North Korean nuclear threat is a matter of survival for South Korea and the government chose to deploy the full battery to safeguard our security.

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The U.S. began installing the THAAD system under South Korea's previous government. Beijing says the system's powerful radars will be able to monitor flights and missile launches deep inside northeastern China. It would be very hard - actually, impossible, " Putin told reporters.

The Defence Ministry pointed out that the installation is provisional and a permanent deployment would follow only after the study has been completed.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department rules.

Several U.S. military vehicles, including trucks carrying payloads covered in black sheets that appeared to be launchers, had been seen heading toward the site.

More than 300 activists from Seongju and nearby Gimcheon city were outside the THAAD site, in what they say is their 41st assembly demanding the removal of all THAAD launchers, News 1 reported Wednesday.

Four more interceptor launchers for a United States missile defense system entered a southern military base Thursday after clashes between police and protesters that resulted in dozens of injuries. Some South Koreans claim it will have negative health and environmental impacts.

South Korea has said the launchers for the US missile defense system known as THAAD would be installed in the face of the growing threat from Pyongyang.

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