|THAAD Interceptor test launch|
By Lee Chi-dong
SINGAPORE, June 4 (Yonhap) -- A top Russian defense official on Sunday accused South Korea and the U.S. of escalating tensions in Northeast Asia by deploying the powerful Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) on the Korean Peninsula.
Deputy Defense Minster Lt. Gen. Alexander Fomin claimed the missile system can be used for launching "long-distance attack missiles," and should not be viewed exclusively as a defensive system.
"That's why we are alarmed. It's a direct threat to Russia," he said, speaking at a plenary session of the 16th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
He pointed out the deployment of the THAAD system in South Korea has already begun.
"We are convinced that (the) ongoing (move) in the region under the auspices of the United States to deploy elements of a global missile defense (system) will not only not solve the existing problems on the Korean Peninsula, but, on the contrary, will only exacerbate them," he said in English.
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