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S.Korean acting president: We need urgent nuclear help. Opposition: You need to step down

Staff Writer | January 23, 2017
North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities are accelerating at an "unprecedented" pace, the South's acting president said.
Hwang Kyo-Ahn
Korea   North Korea conducted two nuclear tests
He is urging the swift deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system. Seoul and Washington agreed last year to install the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in the South after a string of North Korean nuclear and missile tests.

Speaking to reporters, Acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn said the North had conducted two nuclear tests and fired multiple ballistic missiles last year, averaging two per month.

"Its nuclear and missile capabilities are developing at an unprecedented pace," Hwang said. "They are real and obvious threat."

A "swift" deployment of the THAAD system "is necessary to protect the lives and safety of our people", he added.

In South Korea, voices opposing the installation have grown louder, with some opposition candidates pledging to scrap the agreement if they win a presidential election due this year, AFP reports.

The plan has also angered Beijing, which has imposed a string of measures seen in the South as economic retaliation.

Kyo-Ahn took over President Park Geun-Hye's sweeping executive powers after she was impeached in December, becoming the de facto leader of Asia's fourth largest economy.