Agreement to end stand-off over anti-missile system deployment

Xinhua
China and South Korea yesterday agreed to move beyond a year-long stand-off over the deployment of an advanced US anti-missile system.
Xinhua

China and South Korea yesterday agreed to move beyond a year-long stand-off over the deployment of an advanced US anti-missile system.

The two had maintained communication on the Korean Peninsula issue through diplomatic channels, China’s foreign ministry said.

Enhancing communication and cooperation is in accordance with the common interests of China and South Korea, a ministry press release said, and both sides had agreed “to return communication and cooperation in various fields to the normal track as soon as possible.”

It said both sides attached great importance to China-South Korea ties and stood ready to promote their strategic cooperative partnership.

“China and South Korea reaffirmed the principles of realizing denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and reaching a peaceful settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue,” it added.

It said South Korea acknowledged China’s stance and concerns on the deployment of the THAAD missile system in South Korea.

“South Korea made it clear that the deployment of THAAD will not target any third country, and will not harm China’s strategic security and interests,” the release said.

It said that China reiterated its opposition to THAAD, as a matter of national security.

The Chinese side notes South Korea’s stance, it said, and hopes it will properly handle related issues. “Both sides have agreed to continue communication through military-to-military channels.”

The release also made clear China’s concerns about South Korea’s participation in US-led missile defense networks, any additional THAAD deployment, and trilateral military cooperation between South Korea, Japan and the US.

“China’s stance on the THAAD deployment is clear, consistent and has not changed,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press briefing yesterday.

Hua said it was the common wish of China and South Korea to properly handle the THAAD deployment and remove the obstacles to bilateral ties.

She said China stood ready to make joint efforts with South Korea to return bilateral ties back to the normal track.

Kang Kyung-wha, South Korea’s foreign minister, told lawmakers on Monday that the country was not considering any additional THAAD deployment, and also said it would not participate in US-led missile defense networks.

Kang also stressed that trilateral security cooperation between Seoul, Washington and Tokyo would not extend to a military alliance, reports said.


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