Korea to deploy new THAAD launchers just 3 days after announcement

Seoul deploys remaining 4 US anti-missile Thaad launchers amid clashes with protesters

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system here Friday, saying it was an inevitable decision to protect his people from evolving nuclear and missile provocations from North Korea.

Following North Korea's repeated provocations-including launching a missile over northern Japan last week and a sixth nuclear test on Sunday-Moon appeared significantly more comfortable with the presence of the US system over South Korea's skies.

The rollout was "temporarily" completed Thursday, a spokesman for South Korea's Defence Ministry said, adding it was necessary to counter increased threats from North Korea. Two launchers had already been deployed.

North Korea said Sunday's detonation was a "perfect success" in testing a hydrogen bomb, raising fears that it had developed the technology to build a nuclear device small enough to be mounted on a missile.

Protesters scuffled with armoured riot police as they attempted to block the road where US Forces Korea were transporting four additional THAAD missile interceptor launchers to a base in Seongju, around 300 km south of Seoul.

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Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said Beijing supports further United Nations action against North Korea but also wants to see renewed efforts to begin dialogue involving all sides. The Russian leader will meet with Abe later in the day.

The full deployment of the THAAD, which consists of at least six launchers, comes 14 months after Washington and Seoul in July 2016 agreed to install it on South Korean territory to counteract the North Korean threat.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China hopes North Korea will "see the situation clearly and come to the right judgment and choice", Wang said.

Some 38 protesters were wounded in tussles with police, with 21 sent to hospital, according to a Seongju Fire Station official.

Trump said "I would prefer not going the route of the military, but it is something certainly that could happen".

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Seonju residents and activists have raised worries over rumored health hazards linked to the system's powerful radar and the possibility the town will become a target of North Korean attacks.

"There is nothing more foolish than thinking we, a strong nuclear state, will endure this evil pressure aimed at overthrowing our state", the North's official news agency said in a commentary. Trump, who also once favored talks with Pyongyang, recently said this was "not the answer".

Though he took a more critical view this week, Moon previously raised the notion of military talks between North and South as a way to possibly ease the growing strain.

Seoul's Unification Ministry spokeswoman Eugene Lee said Friday that Pyongyang could potentially conduct its next ICBM test this weekend or around October 10, another North Korean holiday marking the founding of its ruling party.

They urged more efforts to pressure North Korea to abandon what they called its "current threatening and destabilizing path".

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"The US administration will have to pay a dear price for her tongue-lashing", it warned.

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