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Mattis, Park aide reaffirm THAAD deployment plan

All Headlines 17:56 February 02, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Yonhap) -- Top security officials of South Korea and the United States on Thursday reaffirmed that the allies would push ahead with the plan to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system to the Korean Peninsula to counter growing military threats from North Korea.

During their talks, Seoul's National Security Office chief Kim Kwan-jin and U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also reiterated that the allies will strongly respond to Pyongyang's future provocations based on their "watertight" security cooperation, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

Mattis arrived here on the day for a two-day visit for talks with top Seoul officials, including Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn and Defense Minister Han Min-koo.

Their reaffirmation of their resolve to deploy a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system came amid continued opposition from China, Russia and some local politicians. Beijing and Moscow have argued that the system could undermine their security interests.

During the meeting, Mattis reaffirmed the U.S.' commitment to the defense of South Korea, which includes the use of extended deterrence, and Washington's pledge to mobilize all of its military capabilities, both nuclear and conventional.

The Pentagon chief also said that the Trump administration will deal with North Korea's nuclear threats as the "top priority" security issue.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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