S. Korea president says THAAD deployment inevitable but temporary

REFILE- CORRECTING BYLINE A man throws an object at the convoy of vehicles during a protest opposing the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in Seongju South Korea in this still image taken from

The Sunday nuclear test, which Pyongyang said involved a hydrogen bomb which can be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), prompted US President Donald Trump to respond by saying that Washington was considering cutting trade with countries which do business with Pyongyang. Media releases from North Korea often seem intent on proving doubters wrong, and its tests sometimes seem created to demonstrate previously unattributed capabilities.

North Korea says it needs its weapons to protect itself from U.S. aggression and regularly threatens to destroy the United States. "Hopefully, we are not going to have to use it on North Korea".

Russian Federation and China have proposed a "double-freeze" plan which would see Pyongyang suspend its nuclear and ballistic missile tests in exchange for a halt in joint US-South Korea military drills.

The Russian leader said there are "many reasonable people in the current (US) administration" who are experienced and who have dealt with similar crises.

South Korean Marines wrapped up a three-day firing drill aimed at protecting its islands just south of the border with North Korea, while the air force will finish up a week-long drill on Friday.

"We believe that sanctions and pressure are only half of the key to resolving the nuclear issue".

Mr Putin has however insisted that further economic pressure on Pyongyang would not work and that the only route to a solution was diplomacy.

The European Union's foreign and defence ministers will discuss further sanctions for North Korea on Thursday said a top diplomat ahead of a EU ministers' meeting in the Estonian capital.

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He said the United Nations should take "necessary measures", but added that sanctions and pressure should spur dialogue and negotiation between the sides toward the goal of a peaceful solution on the Korean Peninsula.

China is a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, as well as North Korea's main trading partner and source of food and fuel aid.

Earlier on Thursday, the final parts of the American Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system arrived at a base in South Korea as hundreds of protesters thronged the area amid a huge police presence.

China has expressed anger over the deployment, saying that the system's powerful radar can be potentially used to peer deep into its territory and monitor its flights and missile launches.

The deployment was met with opposition from civic groups, and activists initially scuffled with police after midnight on Thursday, when the new equipment was brought in.

Nato's secretary-general said North Korean behaviour is a global threat and called for a united response. Lee said that Seoul would have to keep the arms until Pyongyang scraps its own nuclear development program.

The European Union's foreign policy chief said the world should not "enter this spiral of a military confrontation that could be extremely risky not only for the region but for the entire world".

China's state broadcaster, China Central Television, said Xi told Merkel that China remains committed to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and to the region's peace and stability.

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