South Korea will deploy four additional missile defense system

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Seoul announced the deployment of four additional US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile systems in North Gyeongsang Province following the recent nuclear test by Pyongyang, local media reported Wednesday.

A THAAD battery normally consists of six launchers that can fire up to 48 interceptor missiles, but only two launchers been operational at the site, on a former golf course.

On Thursday morning, South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo in Vladivostok where they are attending the Eastern Economic Forum, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

South Korea said earlier in the day it was talking to the United States about deploying aircraft carriers and strategic bombers to the Korean peninsula after signs North Korea might launch more missiles.

Dozens of people were injured in clashes between South Korean protesters and police Thursday as the USA military added more launchers to the high-tech missile-defense system it installed in a southern town to better cope with North Korean threats.

But after North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test this week, Moon's emphasis on dialogue has been called into question by conservatives at home, and by the USA president, who derided it as unworkable "appeasement".

"One shouldn't give in to emotions and drive North Korea into a corner", he continued, adding that all parties need to show composure and avoid "steps that lead to an escalation of tension".

It has also caused diplomatic rifts between South Korea and its neighbor China, which Seoul says imposed unofficial sanctions on it after deployment began, with Chinese tourist groups encouraged to boycott South Korea and Chinese consumers attacking Korean companies online.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that the North Korean nuclear crisis can not be resolved by sanctions alone, and urged the worldwide community not to push Pyongyang into a corner.

In Washington, President Donald Trump reiterated on Thursday that military action is "certainly" an option against North Korea, as his administration tentatively concurred with the pariah nation's claim to have tested a hydrogen bomb.

Moon had temporarily halted the installment of THAAD to conduct more environmental reviews and ease residents' concerns. Trump, who also once favored talks with Pyongyang, recently said this was "not the answer".

South Korea ended up giving nuclear weapons in 1970 for US-provided nuclear umbrella after a war with North Korea in 1950.

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