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Koreas trade barbs over THAAD deployment

All News 11:30 July 15, 2016

SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea rapped North Korea Friday for leveling what it said was unjustified criticism against its decision to deploy an advanced anti-missile system on its soil.

The communist country issued a statement late Thursday accusing South Korea of turning the Korean Peninsula into a "theater of a nuclear war" with its decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system with the U.S. forces in the South.

The statement by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK, the North's state committee on inter-Korean affairs, strongly criticized South Korean President Geun-hye for being a "rare traitor" and a "war servant."

"(Park) must not forget even a moment that the DPRK's nuclear force for self-defense will be further bolstered up in quality and quantity and the merciless sword of justice will cut off her windpipe no matter how desperately she may try to stifle the compatriots in the North by clinging to the coattails of foreign forces," it said, using the acronym of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

South Korea's unification ministry said the North only has itself to blame for the THAAD deployment.

"The government's decision to deploy THAAD is a self-defense measure aimed at defending our people's lives and safety and our country's security from North Korea's nuclear and missile threats," it said in a separate statement.

"We strongly condemn (the North) for vulgarly slandering our leader and uttering unjustified accusations with the foul aim of creating division in our society," it said.

hague@yna.co.kr
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