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Minister: Moon's position on THAAD delivered to U.S.

All News 12:00 June 04, 2017

By Lee Chi-dong

SINGAPORE, June 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said Sunday he has conveyed President Moon Jae-in's message on the THAAD missile defense system to U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

Han said his "talking points" in the discussion with Mattis held in Singapore a day earlier were decided in "consultations" with Moon's office Cheong Wa Dae.

The one-on-one meeting between Han and Mattis came amid renewed attention on Seoul's stance towards the agreed-upon deployment of the advanced missile defense system by U.S. Forces Korea.

Han and his ministry have come under fire for allegedly bypassing a report of THAAD equipment in South Korea to its new president Moon Jae-in. Han was appointed by Moon's ousted predecessor Park Geun-hye.

Moon has ordered an investigation into the ministry's implementation of the deal with the U.S. on THAAD.

Meeting with the U.S. secretary on the sidelines of the Shanggri-La Dialogue, a regional security forum, Han assured his counterpart that it's "entirely about a domestic measure" and Seoul does not want it to affect relations with Washington.

He added the Moon administration would handle the THAAD issue in light of the "alliance spirit." In response, Mattis said he "understands and trusts" Seoul's stance on the matter.

Han told reporters later that his remarks on THAAD in talks with Mattis were based on a "summary" of Moon's public comments related to the missile defense system's deployment.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo (L) shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in their meeting held on the sidelines of the 16th Asia Security Summit in Singapore on June 3, 2017. (AP-Yonhap)


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