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Chinese Envoy Criticizes US Plans to Deploy Missile Defense System in South Korea

RIA Novosti

13:11 17/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 17 (RIA Novosti) – The deployment of a US advanced missile defense system in South Korea currently under consideration in Washington may trigger a strong negative reaction from North Korea, China's deputy chief envoy to the talks urged Friday.

'These moves would spark strong dissatisfaction from North Korea,' South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted Xu Bu as saying at Peking University.

'The United States has recently bolstered its military alliance with South Korea and Japan, based on the nuclear crisis of North Korea. The United States has also strengthened its military presence in Northeast Asia by pushing to deploy its missile defense system in this region,' Xu added.

Early in October, the US defense official announced the country is considering deploying an advanced missile defense system in South Korea. However, Seoul has not received an official request yet. The US Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) can shoot down short, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

Chinese policy in the region primarily focuses on stability, rather than the denuclearization of North Korea. In February US Secretary of State John Kerry called on China to put more pressure on North Korea to return to nuclear disarmament talks.

North Korea declared itself a nuclear power in 2005 and conducted a series of underground nuclear weapon tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013. Pyongyang's nuclear program has triggered mass protests from the international community, including demands for the nation to return to the so-called six-party negotiations, comprising North and South Korea, Russia, the United States, China and Japan, on the reduction of its nuclear activities. Pyongyang withdrew from the talks in 2009.

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