Russia concerned over US air defense system

russia_2744410bMOSCOW, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) — The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday expressed concerns over possible deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.

The Pentagon said Monday that the United States and South Korea have begun negotiations on the issue in response to the missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Feb. 7.

The Russian ministry noted that the action of DPRK was used by Washington to expand the deployment range of the U.S. global missile defense system, according to an online statement.

“The emergence of elements of the U.S. global missile defense system in the region, characterized by a rather difficult security situation, could provoke an arms race in northeast Asia and will further complicate the solution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula,” the statement said.

“This step could only enhance the destructive impact of the U.S. global missile defense system on international security and strategic stability.”

Accusing DPRK of disregard for international law, the ministry urged for creating comprehensive peace system in northeast Asia that would take into account the security interests of all regional countries.

“We hope that Washington and Seoul will contemplate the possible consequences that can result from such developments and draw appropriate conclusions,” the ministry said.

The DPRK said Sunday that it had successfully launched a Kwangmyongsong-4 Earth observation satellite into orbit, which was widely seen as a disguised test of long-range ballistic missile technology.

Earlier in the day, head of Russian Foreign Ministry’s security and disarmament department Mikhail Ulyanov also said the deployment of U.S. missile defense system, as well as the current developing trend of events, would benefit neither Pyongyang nor Seoul.

Meanwhile, Ulyanov warned that the U.S. is developing air defense systems that could in the future influence Russia’s capability in providing nuclear restraint.

“Russia does not pose a real threat for NATO countries,” Ulyanov said, vowing “adequate reaction to any changes of the military-political landscape in Europe.”

Recent media reports said that NATO plans to step up military deployment along the European border with Russia.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Wednesday warned that increased NATO military presence near Russia’s borders threatens European stability and security.

“Unfortunately, this is not an issue of threatening Russia. This is preventing the European continent from achieving common security,” she said, suggesting that the NATO’s move was aimed at containing Russia.

Relations between Russia and western countries have deteriorated over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis, while disagreements also exist on Syria crisis and other international issues.

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