Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

China tests new missile in waters near North Korea

A statement by the Chinese defence ministry yesterday said that Chinese rocket forces tested a new type of missile in the Bohai Sea.

Force tested the new missile in the Bohai based on annual training programme, the defence ministry said in a brief statement. In order to de-escalate tensions surrounding the Korean peninsula, Beijing has come up with an initiative to call on North Korea to refrain from carrying out further missile and nuclear tests in exchange for the United States and South Korea suspending their military exercises in the region.

At a regular news briefing last month, China's defense ministry responded to questions about the THAAD deployment by foreshadowing the weapons tests, saying they were necessary to safeguard its national security.

The latest missile tested by China can attack both aircraft carriers and the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defence system deployed recently in South Korea, an official newspaper reported on Wednesday.

"It hasn't much to do with THAAD directly, but it is a kind of warning" to South Korea and the U.S., Song Zhongping, a Chinese military affairs expert and commentator for Hong Kong's Phoenix TV, told the Associated Press.

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The Bohai Gulf is the preferred location for such tests because it is Chinese territorial waters, Mr Song said.

"China's position on the issue of THAAD is clear and consistent".

The plans for the deployment of THAAD were announced last July, and the actual deployment process began in March, shortly after North Korea launched a salvo of ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan.

While the DF-26 could be useful against THAAD, China also has several other missiles that are up to the task, Song said.

President Moon Jae-in of South Korea said Wednesday he will visit Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), under right conditions.

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