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China voices opposition to S. Korea's THAAD deployment plan

(Xinhua)    08:11, February 17, 2016
China voices opposition to S. Korea's THAAD deployment plan
A US Air Force B-52 (right) flies over Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, the Republic of Korea, Jan 10, 2016. [Photo/China Daily]

SEOUL, Feb. 16 -- Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui on Tuesday expressed opposition to South Korea's plan to deploy a sophisticated U.S. missile defense system after a meeting here with his South Korean counterpart.

Zhang met in Seoul with South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam to co-chair the seventh China-S. Korea high-level strategic dialogue between foreign ministries.

The senior-level dialogue came after South Korea and the United States agreed to begin talks about deploying the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in the South Korean territory in response to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s nuclear and missile threats.

Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket, which some see as a test of banned ballistic missile technology, on Feb. 7 following its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6.

Zhang told reporters after the meeting in Seoul that he exchanged views with Lim about the THAAD issue, among other issues, and said China expressed oppositions to the THAAD deployment.

Zhang said China attaches great importance to ties with South Korea, and is ready to work along with the country to boost the sound development of bilateral relations, noting that China is firmly committed to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, which conforms to the common interests of China and South Korea.

China opposes the DPRK's nuclear test and rocket launch, and supports a new and effective resolution at the UN Security Council, but sanctions are not an end in themselves, and a fundamental solution to the issue should be sought through dialogue and negotiations, Zhang said.

The senior Chinese diplomat urged relevant parties to act prudently, in an apparent reference to Seoul and Washington that have agreed to launch talks about the THAAD deployment.

China hopes relevant parties would show respect for China's interests and act with prudence, as the deployment is not conducive to easing the current tension and maintaining peace and stability in the region, but would impair China's strategic security interest, Zhang said.

The THAAD, designed to track and destroy ballistic missiles at an altitude of 40 km to 150 km, has been put under suspicion about its operational effectiveness in South Korea as hundreds of shorter-range DPRK missiles can fly at a much lower altitude.

There are also safety concerns as the THAAD X-band radar emits super-strong microwaves, allegedly harmful to human bodies within 3.6 km while paralyzing electronic devices and airplanes within 5.5 km.

South Korean officials said the two sides had "candid, in-depth, and constructive" discussions on bilateral ties and the security conditions on the peninsula.

South Korea attaches great importance to ties with China and is ready to work for their further development, and would maintain consultations and communications with China regarding the THAAD deployment issue, said the S.Korean officials.

China backs stronger DPRK sanctions

China supports a new and stronger United Nations Security Council sanctions resolution against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a senior diplomat said on Tuesday.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Kong Defang,Bianji)

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