South Korean leader observes missile test amid North's threats

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday observed the test-firing of a new midrange missile being developed to counter North Korean threats, saying Seoul must be able to militarily "dominate" the North for future engagement to work.

Moon today revealed that the original diplomatic deal on THAAD, reached before his election, was to deploy a single launcher in 2017 and five additional launchers in 2018, but that the United States had "mysteriously accelerated" that before the election.

Though parts of system are already in place, Moon this month suspended further deployment.

Shortly after his election, Moon announced that he'd learned the USA had sent four additional launchers to the site and was in the process of setting them up.

"On North Korea's nuclear development program, Moon was quoted as saying, "[For now, ] we must continue to strengthen our sanctions and pressure on North Korea".

He declared that the deployment had "mysteriously" accelerated under the previous administration, speaking in an interview with Reuters, cited by Yonhap.

Under the original agreement, one mobile launcher was scheduled to be installed by the end of this year, with five others set to be deployed in 2018.

Four more launchers were delivered to a USA military base near Seongju, but it was not reported to President Moon Jae-in, who later ordered a thorough investigation into the unreported transportation.

It was the South Korean president's idea to make this rather unconventional trip.

"We need to be a bit flexible", Moon, a professor at Seoul's Yonsei University, said. It's not yet known how the US government responded to the request.

The remarks came in reaction to a question by a USA journalist in a recent interview with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, in which the interviewer from CBS stated it was not clear whether U.S. President Donald Trump would "agree to allow" his South Korean counterpart to negotiate with the North Koreans. And you want to do that. "It's unrealistic to insist that we won't hold talks with them unless they denuclearize" first, he said.

  • Leroy Wright