S. Korea, US deploy missile defence amid China protest

Pyongyang marks its founding anniversary each year with a big display of pageantry and military hardware.

North Korea's latest test caused two earthquakes amid speculation the rock over the site had caved in, initially sparking fears radioactive material had leaked into the atmosphere.

The installation of the rest of the battery was delayed, ostensibly on environmental grounds, by South Korea's new liberal President Moon Jae-In.

U.S. President Donald Trump has urged China to do more to rein in its neighbor, which has pursued its weapons programs in defiance of United Nations sanctions and worldwide condemnation.

Moon said Wednesday that the situation could get out of hand if North Korea's missile and nuclear tests aren't stopped.

Moon earlier called for a ban on overseas North Korean workers, who are a key foreign currency source for the North, but Putin said problem should be solved diplomatically, according to Seoul's presidential office.

Following Sunday's explosion, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) found traces of Xenon-133, a radioactive isotope which does not occur naturally. Seongju residents and activists have anxious over rumoured health hazards and the possibility of being targeted in North Korean attacks.

Xenon is a naturally occurring, colourless gas that is used in manufacturing of some sorts of lights.

North Korea carried out its sixth and the most powerful nuclear test to date on Sunday in what it claimed was a detonation of a thermonuclear weapon built for its ICBMs. He said earlier this year that the battery will protect 10 million South Koreans in the area outside of Seoul in addition to USA bases and vital seaports.

U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said on Thursday that if North Korea wants a response after a nuclear attack, "there will be one". "Is it inevitable? Nothing is inevitable", Trump told reporters.

South Korean officials say THAAD will strengthen the country's missile defences, which now rely on Patriot-based systems, and will deter North Korea, which has missiles that can be fired from road-mobile launchers or submarines.

However, senior members of his administration have made clear that the door to a diplomatic solution is still open.

The option of a preemptive strike in response to North Korea's provocation was also unpopular, with 59 percent of respondents opposing the USA attacking North Korea first in response to Pyongyang's provocations, and 33 percent supporting that option.

  • Jon Douglas