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China Once Again Asks South Korea to Drop THAAD Plan

by YuGee / Aug 25, 2016 06:39 AM EDT
BEIJING, CHINA - APRIL 27: South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se (L) shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) before a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on April 27, 2016 in Beijing China. (Photo by Iori Sagisawa-Pool/Getty Imag

On Wednesday in Tokyo, the foreign ministers of South Korea and China were not able to settle their disputes over the planned deployment of a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in South Korea. However, South Korean officials said that the two both agreed to strengthen communication on the issue.

The Korea Times reported that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi once again voiced out his country's opposition toward the deployment and said that South Korea should cancel the initial plan.

After the meeting, Wang told reporters, "There are a series of the problem concerning Seoul-Beijing relations and they are not avoidable. As you all may know, China brought up issues on THAAD and firmly holds the view against the establishment of THAAD in South Korea."

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se mentioned that he and Wang "openly exchanged thoughts" on issues concerning bilateral interests, but did not further elaborate his statement.

Yun and Wang first met on July 8 when South Korea and the United States agreed to install a THAAD battery in South Korea by 2017.

There are some speculations that China is following a two-faced policy toward the two Koreas in protest of THAAD by taking hostile measures against the South on the one hand while loosening sanctions on the North in the face of its persistent provocations.

Because of this, some worry that Seoul-Beijing relations will be in danger and interrupt the U.N. Security Council's (UNSC) sanctions on Pyongyang.

Wang said, "China does not want problems concerning THAAD to get more serious and affect the friendship as well as collaboration between Beijing and Seoul." He further commented when asked about the North's SLBM test-firing on Wednesday that he does not want North Korea "to heighten tension in the region and make its security complex."

Regarding the scheduled visit of South Korean President Park Geun Hye to China on September 4 and 5 for the G20 Summit, Wang said that the President is very much welcome in his country. 

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