Early THAAD rollout decried

Source
China Daily
Editor
Zhang Tao
Time
2017-04-18

Beijing has urged "an immediate halt" to deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system in the Republic of Korea after Washington and Seoul agreed on its early deployment.

Hwang Kyo-ahn, ROK acting president, confirmed the consensus for "a swift deployment of THAAD" at a joint news conference with visiting U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence on Monday in Seoul.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said "there is no change" in China's position of opposing the deployment. The deployment has angered Beijing and Moscow and chilled ROK-China ties, as its radar can reach up to 2,000 kilometers.

Su Xiaohui, a researcher in international strategy at the China Institute of International Studies, said THAAD "will do nothing but add to regional tension" and make the peninsula's denuclearization process harder.

Also Monday, Pence said in Seoul that "all options are on the table", though the U.S. prefers a peaceful means for denuclearization. Pence, in reference to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, said that "an era of strategic patience is over".

Lu said on Monday that "China welcomes the U.S. playing a positive role in peacefully resolving" the issue. The situation is "highly sensitive, complicated and greatly risky", and Beijing has been urging all the parties concerned to avoid moves that further flare up the tension, Lu warned.

All parties should be devoted to lowering tensions to create needed conditions for bringing parties back to negotiations, Lu added.

 

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