(From AFP)

South Korea Wednesday dismissed China’s warning that the planned deployment of a US missile defense system could damage ties, stressing that it was to counter “growing threats” from North Korea.

US soldiers walk past South Korean anti-war activists holding a rally against talks on deploying the THAAD System
US soldiers walk past anti-war activists holding a rally in Seoul against US-South Korea talks on deploying the THAAD system

“The deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) is a measure of self-defense against growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea,” presidential spokesman Jeong Yeon-Guk said.

Jeong said the issue would be “decided in accordance with security and national interests,” adding that “China will have to recognise the point.”

The remarks came after Chinese ambassador Qiu Guohong warned Tuesday that installation of the THAAD system on the Korean Peninsula could “destroy” relations between Beijing and Seoul.

Chinese envoy summoned

Chinese ambassador Qiu Guohong
Qiu Guohong

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Chinese Ambassador to Korea Qiu Guohong, Wednesday, over sensitive remarks he made about Seoul-Beijing ties during a meeting with the South Korean opposition leader the previous day, The Korea Times reports.

Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Hong-kyun called in Ambassador Qiu to ask about his remarks and Qiu gave a sincere explanation of the related situation, the ministry said in a statement.

He also expressed an understanding about the sensitivity of the issue and said he would make more efforts towards the constant development of South Korea-China relations, the statement added.

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