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Chinese military conducts live-fire drills, weapons tests

13 May, 2017, 10:15 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • End of 'strategic patience'?

China tested a new missile in an area close to the Korean peninsula after warning South Korea against the deployment the US missile defense system THAAD.

In a brief statement late on Tuesday, the ministry said the tests of new missiles and weapons were carried out by the People's Liberation Army's Rocket Force "in recent days" and were created to raise operational capability so as to effectively deal with national security threats.

The US military began installing the first components of the system in South Korea late last month after North Korea refused to halt its missile launches and nuclear tests.

The test in the Bohai Sea was conducted to "raise the operational capability of the armed forces and effectively respond to threats to national security", the ministry said in a brief statement.

"Considering the type of missile and the test location it is evident that we conducted a firing experiment targeting aircraft carriers, and the warhead possibly featured an electromagnetic pulse that could destroy a carrier's command system, as well as the THAAD system", Song said.

Although the missile test may have been scheduled in advance, some experts suspect that the test, of what is believed to be a DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile, was intended as a warning.

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And they surely calculated that the reaction from Republicans would be one of modulation if not quiet approbation. In a letter, Trump told Comey: "You are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately".

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday that China had no intention of softening its opposition.

South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, has announced plans to send an envoy to China to discuss their concerns about THAAD and how it factors into their "common goal" of denuclearizing North Korea.

Our positions should be judged not for what Trump proclaims but by the reality of China's activities.

Despite Chinese anger at North Korea's repeated nuclear and missile tests, China remains the isolated state's most important economic and diplomatic backer, even as Beijing has signed up for tough United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang. In order to de-escalate tensions surrounding the Korean peninsula, Beijing has come up with an initiative to call on North Korea to refrain from carrying out further missile and nuclear tests in exchange for the US and South Korea suspending their military exercises in the region.

The missile test was carried amid China's vociferous protests over THAAD interceptor missiles in South Korea.


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