Russia slams US plan to sell anti-missile system to Japan

ANI | Updated: Dec 29, 2017 04:45 IST

Moscow [Russia], December 29 (ANI): Russia on Thursday has slammed the United States' (US) plan to sell an anti-missile system to Japan, in response to North Korea's increasing nuclear missile tests.

Senior Russian officials have also criticized Japan's plan to deploy two new land-based missile defence systems, local media reported.

On Tuesday, Japan's cabinet approved the deployment of the anti-missile system named - 'Aegis Ashore systems', as North Korea pursues its nuclear and missile programs.

The Aegis Ashore system will use a new type of missile interceptor jointly developed with the US. The Japanese officials have said that the two systems will provide coverage for the entire country.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said on Tuesday that the decision would have a negative impact on Russia-Japan ties. He also said that the 'current atmosphere' would not allow both the countries to sign a peace treaty for denouncing disarmament.

A senior Russian foreign ministry official, Mikhail Ulyanov, in charge of disarmament, said the Aegis Ashore launch system is capable of using strike weapons, including cruise missiles.

He suggested that the deployment would violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the US and the erstwhile Soviet Union. The INF treaty prohibits the deployment of ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 km.

Russia has been accusing the US of expanding its missile defence systems in North-East Asia, by using threats from North Korea as a pretext. (ANI)