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(LEAD) China envoy discusses THAAD with S. Korean politicians for second day

All News 17:34 April 12, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 10-12)

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- A senior Chinese diplomat on Wednesday held a second round of talks with South Korean politicians on the bilateral dispute over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system here.

Wu Dawei, Beijing's chief negotiator on North Korea's nuclear program, met with Rep. Kim Moo-sung, election committee chief of the splinter conservative Bareun Party.

He arrived in Seoul Monday for a five-day visit amid growing signs of Pyongyang preparing new nuclear and missile tests.

Rep. Kim Moo-sung of the Bareun Party (R) shakes hands with Chinese nuclear negotiator Wu Dawei ahead of talks at the National Assembly in Seoul on April 12, 2017. (Yonhap)

During the talks at the National Assembly, the two sides apparently repeated their positions on the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, according to Kim, former leader of the Saenuri Party, which is now called Liberty Korea Party.

"The Chinese keep expressing their opposition to the THAAD deployment, but I said the THAAD issue is already a finished story. Its deployment has already begun, so I said it would be best not to talk about it anymore," the lawmaker said.

China claims the missile shield is a threat to its security while Seoul and Washington insist it is a defensive measure against Pyongyang's provocations.

He asked China to stop its apparent economic retaliation on South Korean firms like Lotte, saying it is not befitting of a large nation like China," Kim said.

Wu gave no particular response, he added.

Still, the two sides reaffirmed the importance of their countries' friendship and called for resolving the dispute at an early date, Kim said.

Later in the day, Wu met Hong Joon-pyo, the presidential candidate of the conservative Liberty Korea Party. During their meeting, Hong berated China for its recent apparent economic retaliation against South Korean businesses.

Hong, in particular, pointed out that through Beijing's retaliation, Chinese leader Xi Jinping flouted his professed principles such as pursuing peaceful coexistance with neighboring countries and opposing trade protectionism.

On Tuesday, Wu held a series of talks with South Korea's leading presidential contenders and their aides, including the Bareun Party's standard-bearer Yoo Seong-min and the Justice Party's Sim Sang-jeung.


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