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(LEAD) China maintaining dialogue with S. Korea to resolve THAAD issue

All Headlines 19:32 August 25, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS comments from China's defense ministry in paras 5, 6)

BEIJING, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) -- China's foreign ministry said Thursday it has been engaged in talks with South Korea over Seoul's decision to deploy a U.S. missile defense shield, adding its opposition to the decision remains unchanged.

China has been steadfast in its opposition to the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, and its Foreign Minister Wang Yi reconfirmed the stance during a bilateral meeting with his South Korean counterpart in Tokyo on Wednesday, ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters during a regular press briefing.

The diplomats' meeting was on the sidelines of a trilateral meeting of the top diplomats of South Korea, China and Japan on the same day.

Lu also said whether or not the two countries' presidents will hold a summit talk during the Group of 20 (G20) meeting in Hangzhou, China next month has not been decided.

On the same day, China's defense ministry spokesman Wu Qian also expressed opposition against the deployment, comparing it to "opening a Pandora's box."

THAAD is not only an issue between South Korea and the U.S. because it infringes upon the regional balance and China's interest, he told reporters during a regular press briefing.

South Korea's ties with China, its No. 1 trading partner, have frayed over Seoul's decision to station a THAAD battery on its soil. This move has drawn strong objections from Beijing, which worries that the battery with its powerful radar will adversely affect the strategic balance in Northeast Asia.

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