November 17, 2017 / 6:38 AM / 25 days ago

China, Russia to hold simulated anti-missile drill

BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese and Russian militaries will next month hold anti-missile drills in Beijing, China’s Defence Ministry said on Friday, amid concern in both countries about the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea.

China and Russia have both expressed opposition to the basing of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in South Korea, which Seoul and Washington say is needed to defend against the threat of North Korean missiles.

China, along with Russia, has repeatedly expressed opposition to the THAAD deployment, saying it will do nothing to help ease tension with North Korea.

China also fears THAAD’s powerful radar system can look deep into is territory, undermining its security.

China’s Defence Ministry said in a statement a computer drill would take place from Dec. 11 to Dec. 16.

The aim of the exercise was to jointly practice defence against missiles and how to handle “sudden and provocative attacks on the two countries’ territories by ballistic missiles and cruise missiles”, the ministry said.

“The drill is not aimed at any third party,” it said, without elaborating.

While China and South Korea agreed last month to move beyond their year-long stand-off over THAAD, a dispute that has been devastating to South Korean businesses that rely on Chinese consumers, China has stuck to its opposition to the system.

China and Russia have close military and diplomatic ties, and they have repeatedly called for a peaceful, negotiated solution to the North Korea nuclear and missile crisis.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel

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