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Russia, China share concern about U.S. missile shield in S. Korea

All Headlines 17:59 March 07, 2016

BEIJING, March 7 (Yonhap) -- Senior diplomats from Russia and China held regular talks last week during which they shared concerns about the possible deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system in South Korea, China's foreign ministry said Monday.

The talks, led by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and Kong Xuanyou, China's assistant foreign minister, were held in Moscow last Friday, when South Korea and the U.S. formally began talks on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery.

"The two sides were concerned about the possible deployment of the THAAD system in South Korea, believing that it will heighten regional tensions, disrupt regional strategic balance and directly undermine China's and Russia's strategic security interests," China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular press briefing.

"Both China and Russia are firmly opposed to that," Hong said.

South Korea decided to start formal talks with the U.S. to adopt the THAAD battery in the wake of North Korea's fourth nuclear test and rocket launch this year.

For South Korea, the decision to adopt the U.S. missile system was based on its national security interests to enhance its defensive posture against North Korea's advances in its nuclear and missile programs.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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