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South Korea not planning to deploy US missile defense system — official

February 05, 2015, 17:42 UTC+3 SEOUL
The South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman comments come in response to a statement by his Chinese counterpart calling on the US not to deploy Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense in South Korea
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US and South Korean army soldiers during joint combat training

US and South Korean army soldiers during joint combat training

© EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN

SEOUL, February 5. /TASS/. South Korea does not plan to deploy an advanced US missile defense system on its territory, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Noh Kwang-il said on Thursday.

Instead of installing the US THAAD (Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense) system, the South planned to build Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD), he said. "In order to counter a ‘missile threat’ from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea), we will create our own missile defense system, taking into consideration development of the situation on the Korean peninsula," he noted.

Noh Kwang-il’s comments come in response to Wednesday's statement by China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei, calling on the US not to deploy THAAD on South Korean territory.

"The United States has not sent us any official inquiry on the possibility of deploying the THAAD system on the Korean peninsula," Noh Kwang-il said. "No talks were held (between Seoul and Washington) on this issue," he added.

The diplomat also noted that US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and US Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert had earlier confirmed that no consultations on possible deployment of THAAD had been held between the two countries and that China had been notified of that.

On Wednesday, Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan visited South Korea, voicing concern over THAAD's possible deployment on the peninsula. Meeting his Chinese counterpart, South Korean Defence Minister Han Min-koo said there were no plans to install the US system on Korean soil. "The American missile defence system is aimed exclusively at neutralising North Korea’s missiles," Han Min-koo added.

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