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S. Korea dismisses China's concern over THAAD

All Headlines 10:57 February 24, 2016

SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's presidential office expressed displeasure Wednesday at China's ferocious opposition to its push for the deployment of THAAD, a U.S. missile defense system, here.

It is a matter of "self-defense" against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Jeong Yeon-guk told reporters.

He was responding to increased public pressure from China over the THAAD issue.

Beijing's top envoy in Seoul warned Tuesday that bilateral ties will be destroyed "in an instant" if the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system is positioned on the peninsula.

In a meeting with Kim Jong-in, head of the main opposition Minju party, Ambassador Qiu Guohong was also quoted as saying South Korea's own national security may be jeopardized as well.

Qiu's remarks, quite unusual for a senior diplomat, were seen by many as Beijing's explicit pressure on Seoul.

The Cheong Wa Dae official stressed that it's a self-defense measure for South Korea to allow the U.S. Forces Korea to deploy THAAD in the country. He cited the North's growing military threats.

"It's a matter to be decided in accordance with security and national interests, and China will have to recognize the point," Jeong said.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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