US successfully tests THAAD system, as Washington pressures China

World Today

The U.S. has successfully tested its missile-defense system, also known as THAAD.

The test, on U.S. soil, follows the launch of a long-range missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In the meantime, China has been under pressure from the U.S. to help defuse the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports.

Experts believe these two U.S. states may now be in range of a DPRK missile, though most are skeptical that Pyongyang’s ICBM can deliver a nuclear warhead.

The stand-off has escalated sharply with U.S. President Donald Trump threatening military action against the DPRK if it continues its nuclear program.

Trump’s claim that China should do more to rein in its neighbor strained Washington’s relations with Beijing, triggering an unusually forthright riposte.

“The key to the Peninsula’s nuclear issue is not in China’s hands,” Geng Shuang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson said. “Recently some people hyped up the allegation of ‘China’s responsibility’ over the nuclear issue on the Peninsula, I think they either lack a comprehensive and precise understanding of the Peninsula’s nuclear issue, or have an ulterior motive to shirk their responsibility.”

Diplomats are still striving to prevent the situation from getting worse. Envoys from the Republic of Korea, Japan and U.S. are meeting in Singapore for informal talks, though no DPRK representative will join them.