World / Asia-Pacific

Deploying THAAD to Korean Peninsula does more harm than good

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-02-09 02:48

BEIJING -- The already fragile situation in northeast Asia will only worsen if the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) indeed deploy an advanced missile defense system to the Korean Peninsula in response to "provocative" moves by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The two allies once again threatened to deploy Lockheed Martin's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, which is designed to intercept ballistic missiles in midair, on Sunday, hours after the DPRK launched an Earth-observation satellite allegedly to test ballistic missile technology.

The likely THAAD deployment, which also came a month after the DPRK conducted its fourth nuclear test, is detrimental to the efforts to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula as it is likely to trigger an arms race in the troubled region.

The defense system could become a blasting fuse rather than a guard, as it would probably irritate the DPRK, which is already feeling insecure in the face of the hostile US policies, a major contributor to the regional predicament.

The DPRK's past responses to the United States' hostile moves indicate that the Asian country's reaction to the THAAD deployment would very likely escalate regional tensions, thus launching a vicious cycle on the Korean Peninsula.

Any move that can escalate the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula or any intention to trigger an arms race in the region should be avoided at such a sensitive time.

However, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula will remain unresolved as long as the United States remains reluctant to change its hostile DPRK policies.

Key regional stakeholders, including China and Russia, have made it clear that they oppose the potential deployment of the defense system. It would be unwise for the United States to act arbitrarily in disregard of international opposition just to serve its own interests of carrying out its "Pivot to Asia" strategy.

"China holds a consistent and clear stance on the anti-missile issue," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Sunday. "When pursuing its own security, one country should not impair other's security interests."

The United States and its allies in the region should remember that dialogue and consultation are the only viable way to solve the conflict on the Korean Peninsula and beyond.

The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maintaining its peace and stability, and resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation, are China's consistent stance toward the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

The deployment of THAAD is not the solution to the predicament on the Korean Peninsula, but sincere talks and well-intended negotiations are a step in the right direction.

Given the fragility of the situation, it is advisable for the United States and South Korea to be more cautious on the issue before taking any further action.

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