14 September, 2017
Citing "successful missile launch in North Korea", sub-base commander Yoshichika Kawahiro told RT's Ruptly video agency that the objective of the drills was to improve the operation of interceptor missiles and tactics of the Air Self-Defense Force, as well as cooperation with the US Armed Forces.
Moon also expressed regret over clashes between protesters and police that left dozens injured Thursday when the US military added the four launchers to the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense System in rural Seongju. Beijing says the system's powerful radars will be able to monitor flights and missile launches deep inside northeastern China.
An official in rural Seonju said Thursday that 38 people, including six police officers, were injured in the clashes.
"To the degree that North Korea knows that the worldwide community is going to punish it for conducting its sixth nuclear test - or try to punish it, at any rate - there is no incentive not to do something else provocative on September 9".
South Korea, which fought a war with the North in 1950s that ended in a ceasefire, gave up nuclear weapons in the 1970s and settled with the US-provided nuclear umbrella.
The U.S. reportedly floated its toughest sanctions yet against North Korea in a draft UN Security Council resolution Wednesday that, if approved, would ban all oil and natural gas exports to North Korea.
His efforts have been hampered by bellicose rhetoric on all sides of the North Korean issue, and worsening relations between Seoul and Washington.
Some 8,000 policemen were sent to the site in response to some 400 protesters who formed human chains and tried to stop the launchers being brought to the nearby artillery base.
The Chinese military held live-fire drills in waters near the Korean Peninsula this week after Pyongyang conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date.
There was no suggestion that Guam was the target for Saturday's speculated launch, but North Korea has threatened to test-fire missiles toward the island before and such a move would be seen as a serious escalation.
Russia, China, and South Korea are among the countries that have voiced strong criticism of the hydrogen bomb test, which was the North's sixth.
He pointed to the Iran nuclear deal, which was negotiated successfully by the Obama administration but has looked fragile under Trump, saying "if the United States had spent even one fifth of the time and effort on the North Korean issue compared with the Iranian case, then the North Korean nuclear issue could have been resolved".
North Korea says it needs to develop its weapons to defend itself against what it sees as USA aggression. The Russian leader will meet with Abe later in the day.
Local residents worry about rumored health hazards related to the system's high-powered radars and the possibility of being targeted in North Korean attacks.