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China renews opposition to South Korea's THAAD deployment

All News 17:36 September 07, 2016

BEIJING, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- China renewed its opposition on Wednesday to South Korea's planned deployment of a U.S. advanced missile defense system on its soil, saying that its security interests should be respected.

In July, South Korea announced a plan to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in the country by end-2017, aimed at shielding itself from North Korea's missile threat. The decision came despite strong opposition from China and Russia, which have voiced concerns that it would put their security interest in danger.

At a regular press briefing held earlier in the day, Hua Chunying, China's foreign ministry spokeswoman, said that the THAAD deployment would not benefit its strategic stability, emphasizing that its security interest should be respected.

Seoul-Beijing ties have been strained as they remain odds over the THAAD issue.

In a summit held on the sidelines of the Group of 20 major economies in China earlier this week, President Park Geun-hye and her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping reconfirmed their differences, though they promised to maintain "strategic communication."

As for China not joining in the Seoul Defense Dialogue that kicked off on Wednesday, the spokeswoman sidestepped the question pointing out that the matter is handled by the defense ministry.

She also declined to confirm media reports that Choe Son-hui, a North Korean senior nuclear negotiator, is currently in China, saying that she has nothing to share at this moment.

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