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Russia Deploys Missile-Defense System Near North Korea

Nikolai Makarov, the chief of Russia's general staff
ULAN BATOR (Reuters) -- Russia has deployed a missile-defense system near its border with North Korea and is studying other measures to protect its population from stray missiles, Russia's top general has said.

Russia shares a small border with North Korea in the Far East and its main Pacific port of Vladivostok, with a population of 600,000, lies only 150 kilometers from North Korea.

A series of missile launches and a nuclear weapon test by North Korea this year alarmed its neighbors, including South Korea, China, and Japan.

"We are definitely concerned by the conditions under which tests are being carried out in North Korea, including nuclear devices," the chief of Russia's general staff, Nikolai Makarov, told journalists in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator.

"We already have an S-400 division there," he said, referring to a modernized version of a Soviet-designed surface-to-air missile unit. "We are currently considering what the most effective measures would be to guarantee no debris would fall if a missile launch failed."