US missile test 'creating a threat for international security' - Russia

A conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile is launched at San Nicolas Island, California, US.
A conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile is launched at San Nicolas Island, California, US. Photo credit: Reuters

Russia's foreign ministry said on Thursday that a possible US deployment of missiles in the Asia-Pacific region would pose a threat to international security.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said earlier this month that he was in favor of placing ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles in Asia relatively soon

"US actions are creating a threat for international security," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters at a weekly televised briefing.

Russia and China have asked the United Nations Security Council to meet on Thursday. 

Moscow and Beijing want to convene the 15-member council under the agenda item 'threats to international peace and security' and have requested that UN disarmament affairs chief Izumi Nakamitsu brief the body.

The Pentagon said on Monday it had tested a conventionally configured cruise missile that hit its target after more than 500km of flight, the first such test since the United States pulled out Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper was asked in a Fox News interview on Wednesday whether the test was aimed at sending a message to China, Russia or North Korea and indicated that the main concern was China.

"We want to make sure that we, as we need to, have the capability to deter Chinese bad behavior by having our own capability to be able to strike at intermediate ranges," he said. 

Esper said on a visit to Australia this month he was in favor of placing ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles in Asia relatively soon.

Esper was also asked about a rocket test accident in Russia this month which US officials believe was associated with the Kremlin’s hypersonic cruise missile program.

"Clearly they are trying to expand their strategic nuclear arsenal to deal with the United States," he said, adding that all such new weapons would have to be included in any future strategic arms reduction treaty.

"Right now Russia has possibly nuclear-tipped... INF-range cruise missiles facing toward Europe, and that’s not a good thing," he said. 

Reuters

 

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