China presses South Korea on Thaad missile system

May 11, 2017


China’s president has set out his opposition to the deployment of a US missile system, in his first discussion with the new South Korean leader.

The Thaad missile system, aimed at intercepting attacks from North Korea, was made operational in South Korea last week.

But Beijing says the system will spy on its territory and has strongly criticised its deployment.

Relations between Beijing and Seoul have deteriorated over the issue.

Liberal Moon Jae-in was elected South Korean president on Tuesday. He is facing a delicate task balancing ties with the US, Seoul’s traditional ally, and China – both of whose help he needs to tackle North Korea and its nuclear ambitions.

A South Korean presidential spokesman said that the Chinese leader – who initiated the call – “explained the reasons for Beijing’s strong and repeated opposition” to the deployment, Yonhap news agency reported.

“President Moon said the Thaad issue can be resolved when there is no further provocation by North Korea,” spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.

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