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Former United Nations chief and presumptive South Korean presidential candidate Ban Ki-moon has backed the deployment later this year of a U.S. anti-missile system to the country amid North Korea’s progress in its nuclear and missile programs.

“Given the reality of the Korean Peninsula being in an almost quasi-war situation, it is right for the government to take such a measure,” Ban was quoted by the Yonhap news agency as saying during a trip to the South Korean Navy’s 2nd Fleet Command in Pyeongtaek, 70 km south of Seoul. “I understand that it is to be deployed for defensive purposes as North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons and accumulate ballistic missile technology,” he said.

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