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People's Daily Online

New govt seeks vote on THAAD

People's Daily Online

(Global Times) 12:27, May 13, 2017

South Korea's ruling Minjoo Party said Friday that it will push for public hearing on the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system to stop conflicts over the issue.

Shim Jae-kwon, head of the Minjoo Party's special committee on THAAD, told reporters in the parliamentary building that the committee will push the parliamentary hearing on the THAAD deployment.

On April 26, part of a THAAD battery was transported to a golf course in southeast South Korea, causing strong protest from residents and peace activists. Anti-THAAD protesters demanded the public consensus and the parliamentary hearing whether to deploy the US missile shield.

US President Donald Trumpsaid South Korea should pay for the THAAD, which would be installed in the country, and he estimated the costs at $1 billion. Trump's comments triggered strong public opposition as the previous government claimed South Korea's offer of land for the deployment in return for the deployment and operation that the US bears the burden for.

Shim urged the defense ministry to immediately stop the illegal installation of the US missile interception system as the new government was launched.

On his campaign trail, South Korean President Moon Jae-inrepeatedly mentioned the need for the parliamentary approval and the public consensus before the THAAD deployment.

Shim said the government should launch preparation for the parliamentary ratification process to prevent unnecessary conflicts over the THAAD issue.

Also on Friday, North Koreademanded the extradition of South Korea's spy chief, accusing him of being a mastermind of a plot to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong-un, with a biochemical weapon.

The North's KCNA state news agency last week accused the US Central Intelligence Agency and South Korea's National Intelligence Service of a plot to assassinate its "supreme leadership" with a biochemical weapon.

The accusation came after weeks of tension over North Korea's nuclear and missile development and fears it will conduct a sixth nuclear test or test-launch another ballistic missile in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

The North on Friday sent a rare letter of protest to the US House of Representatives warning that a new package of tougher sanctions would only spur its development of nuclear weapons, KCNA reported.

The protest was lodged by the recently revived Foreign Affairs Committee of North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly. "The US House of Representatives should think twice," the committee said in its letter, a copy of which was published by KCNA.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation this month to tighten sanctions by targeting North Korea's shipping industry.

"As the US House of Representatives enacts more and more of these reckless hostile laws, the DPRK's efforts to strengthen nuclear deterrents will gather greater pace, beyond anyone's imagination," the committee said.

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