China urges US, South Korea to not deploy missile system

Beijing, Nov 16 (IANS) China urged the United States and South Korea on Wednesday to stop deployment of an advanced US missile defence system.

The South Korea Ministry of National Defense concluded a deal on Wednesday to acquire the site for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system from the Lotte Group, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ministry has agreed to take over the Lotte Skyhill Country Club in Seongju from the country’s fifth-largest conglomerate.

“China has repeatedly firmly opposed the THAAD deployment,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a press briefing.

Geng said the deployment of the system gravely undermined the regional strategic balance, as well as the security interests of countries in the region, including China.

“We again urge all sides to face up to China’s reasonable concerns and stop the deployment process,” he said, adding that China will take necessary measures to safeguard its security interests.

Planning and construction work will begin in early 2017 with a THAAD battery to be installed before the end of the year.