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Official says THAAD deployment in South Korea does not threaten China

August 04, 8:46 UTC+3 SEOUL
A nuclear missile threat from North Korea was named as the reason for stationing a THAAD unit on the permanent basis
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© AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

SEOUL, August 4. /TASS/. China’s concern over the recent decision by South Korea and the United States to place an advanced missile defense system on Korean soil in 2017 is groundless, a government official told Yonhap news agency on Thursday.

Chinese state-run newspaper People’s Daily published an editorial on Wednesday claiming that "the planned deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system poses a serious threat to China's strategic security interest and that Beijing would not sit on its hands at such a development."

"It is regrettable to see People's Daily make such a unilateral argument that THAAD would hurt the strategic balance in the region and China's security interests," a South Korean government official said on condition of anonymity. "Rather than taking an unreasonable issue with the THAAD deployment, it should send a strong warning message to the North bent on developing nuclear weapons and missiles in defiance of South Korea, China and the international community," the official added.

The decision to deploy the THAAD in the south of the Korean Peninsula was made at the beginning of July. The ground-based missile defense system is designed to intercept the warheads of ballistic missiles at the end of the mid-course phase and during the approach to the target, and also to protect cities and key facilities from ballistic missiles - both short-range and strategic ones.

A nuclear missile threat from North Korea was named as the reason for stationing a THAAD unit on the permanent basis. Russia and China are strongly against these plans.

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