Conflict over US missile shield between South Korea, China
(MENAFN) A spat between China and South Korea on Thursday over a United States missile defense shield threatened to derail attempts by the new Seoul government to resolve long-standing security issues.
This week, the South Korean foreign minister's maiden trip to China appeared to go without incident until the controversy over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system surfaced.
After Seoul revealed THAAD's deployment in 2016, ties took a serious hit as China restricted commercial and cultural imports, claiming the system's powerful radar could see into its skies.
According to a briefing transcript, South Korea's presidential office stated on Thursday that the system stationed there is a tool of self-defense after Beijing asked Seoul not install new batteries and restrict the usage of current ones.
President Yoon Suk-yeol has pledged to break the previous administration's vows not to increase THAAD deployments, take part in a United States-led global missile shield, or establish a trilateral military cooperation with Japan because he views the system as essential to fighting North Korean rockets.
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