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Most South Koreans doubt the North will start a war

Most South Koreans doubt the North will start a war”

Meanwhile, the four remaining launchers of a USA missile defense system were deployed in the South Korea.

South Korea on Thursday completed the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system, built by the United States, on its territory with the installation of four additional missile interceptors amid overnight clashes between residents and the security forces that left dozens injured.

More than 30 people were wounded when around 8,000 South Korean police broke up a blockade of about 300 villagers and civic groups opposed to the THAAD system deployment, fire officials said. On Sunday, Pyongyang reportedly tested a hydrogen bomb, its most powerful weapon to date, estimated to be over ten times the size of the bombs dropped on Japan in 1945.

South Korea, which fought a war with the North in 1950s that ended in a ceasefire, gave up nuclear weapons in the 1970s and settled with the US-provided nuclear umbrella.

On the occasion of the 69th founding anniversary, North Korea's official media reported that Kim received a congratulatory message from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In Brussels, the EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said she would propose to ministers from European Union member states new action to counter a "different level of threat" from North Korea. Two launchers have been operational at the site since May.

Also Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated China's opposition to South Korea's deployment of a U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense System, also known as THAAD, which is meant to protect against North Korean missile attacks.

"We believe that sanctions and pressure are only half of the key to resolving the nuclear issue". Abe is due to meet Putin separately later in the day.

South Korea says it expects another North Korea intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch "on September 9", according to the country's Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon.

Still, security experts say the U.S. will not allow a nuclear-armed South Korea, as an atomic arms race would only further complicate the security situation in north-east Asia. The ministry explained that the construction was a "temporary reinforcement" effort for equipment previously brought into the base in a surprise delivery last April, including two THAAD launchers, radar, generator trucks, and a battery control center.

The ministry described the deployment as "provisional", citing the need for additional environmental impact assessment of the THAAD system, a process expected to take at least several months.

Local residents worry about rumored health hazards related to the system's high-powered radars and the possibility of being targeted in North Korean attacks.

Though he took a more critical view this week, Moon previously raised the notion of military talks between North and South as a way to possibly ease the growing strain.



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