Sunday, August 30, 2009

Russia deployed advanced anti-missile systems close to North Korean border, says reports

It is reported that Russia has deployed its advanced anti-missile systems close to the North Korean border. One of the blogpages citing an MSM report said that the Russian military has deployed its S-400 Triumf system in the Far East. Russia's Chief of the General Staff, Nikolai Makarov, has reportedly told reporters on a trip with President Dmitry Medvedev to Mongolia about the deployment.

The report noted that these systems were tasked to shoot down any missiles that could possibly drift into Russian territory from North Korea. This appeared a plausible situation given the fact that the Russian naval port of Vladivostok is just 93 miles away North Korea. Additionally, in 2006, one of the strayed North Korean missile had reportedly fallen into Russian waters near the port of Nakhoda.

However, there are analysts based in Moscow who are not convinced that Russia has placed these anti-missile systems in the Far East. In fact, Mikhail Barabanov, one of the Russian security analysts went on to suggest that either the General is engaged in a PR exercise or the reporters did not comprehend clearly what the General was saying.

If the Russian military has actually deployed these anti-missile systems to the North Korean borders, it may suggest that there is a sense of wariness and concern on the part of Russia about the North Korean missile- and nuclear-related activities, a similar position held by the US. However, the West does not appear convinced about such concerns on the part of Moscow. However, a more acceptable justification for them may be, if the deployment is linked to the US positioning of missile defence components in Eastern Europe or the US National Missile Defence system including interceptor missiles at Fort Greely, Alaska and Vanderbilt Air Force Base, California. There may be additional concerns on the Obama Administration's plans to set up missile defence bases in Israel and Turkey, and may be in the Balkans too, instead of Poland and the Czech Republic in the face of opposition from Russia. While Israel already hosts a mobile radar system at Negev Desert, one is not certain as to how Turkey will respond to the US proposal.

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