Seoul sets up rest of missile defence system

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30 hurt as protestors clash with police in South Korea, US seeks tougher sanctions on Pyongyang

SEOUL/UNITED NATIONS: South Korean protesters clashed with thousands of police officers over the deployment of a defence system aimed at countering North Korean missile attacks, while China and the United States discussed options to rein in Pyongyang.

A draft resolution circulated at the United Nations (UN) Security Council by the Trump administration will allow the US Navy and Air Force to stop North Korean ships at sea and inspect them for weapons material or fuel and use "all necessary measures" to enforce compliance, The New York Times reported.

A ban on the shipment of all crude oil, refined petroleum and natural gas to North Korea will plunge the country of 25 million people into a deep freeze this winter if its leaders do not give up the weapons programme.

The pressure from Washington has ratcheted up since North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sunday.

Seoul installed the four remaining launchers of the US anti-missile Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system in the south early yesterday. Two launchers had already been deployed.

More than 30 people were wounded when around 8,000 South Korean police officers broke up a blockade of about 300 villagers and civic groups opposed to the Thaad system deployment, fire officials said.

The decision to deploy the Thaad system has drawn objections from China, which believes the radar could be used to look deeply into its territory.

US President Donald Trump has urged China, North Korea's biggest ally, to do more to rein in its neighbour, which has pursued its missile and nuclear weapons programmes in defiance of UN sanctions.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he has an executive order ready for Mr Trump to sign that will impose sanctions on any country that trades with Pyongyang if the UN does not impose additional sanctions on North Korea.

Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping committed in a phone call on Wednesday to "take further action, with the goal of achieving the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", the White House said.

"President Xi would like to do something. We will see whether or not he can do it. But we will not be putting up with what is happening in North Korea," Mr Trump told reporters.

Mr Xi said during their 45-minute call that the issue must be resolved via "dialogue and consultation".- REUTERS

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