Korean protesters shout slogans during a rally to oppose the plan to deploy Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in front of the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, March 7, 2017. (Xinhua/Lee Sang-ho)
MOSCOW, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea violates the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), a top official of the upper house of Russia's Parliament said Tuesday.
"The deployment is one of the conditions for Russia's withdrawal from the treaty stipulated by its text," Ozerov, Chairman of the Defense and Security Committee of the Russian Federation Council, was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.
The Defense Ministry of South Korea said earlier in the day that two mobile launchers and part of the equipment necessary for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) had arrived in an air base some 70 km south of the capital Seoul, which was seen by opposition parties in the country as a "unilateral" decision by the government without gaining public approval.
The New U.S.-Russia START agreement was signed in 2010 and became effective in 2011. It is expected to last until 2021 with a possible extension for another five years.
He said the United States was using ballistic missile tests by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a pretext for -- "if not to encircle Russia, then at least besiege it from the west and the east."
The KCNA reported Monday that Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of the DRPK, had supervised on spot a ballistic rocket launching drill of the Korean People's Army (KPA).
Under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization plan to develop its ballistic missile defense capabilities, a U.S. Aegis Ashore missile defense system was activated in Romania last year while the construction of a second Aegis Ashore site began in Poland shortly after.