SEOUL, Nov. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — Seoul’s defense ministry said Friday that it has no plan to hold talks with China over an advanced U.S. missile defense system deployed in South Korea.
A local media outlet reported that China has officially asked South Korea to open military talks at an early date over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. China has vehemently opposed it, saying that the move hurts its security interest.
“There is no plan for such talks,” Moon Sang-gyun, spokesman at the Ministry of National Defense, told a briefing.
South Korea and China announced an agreement on Oct. 31 to mend ties after more than a year of frayed diplomatic relations over the deployment.
Despite the agreement, the dispute over the THAAD has not been fully resolved as China calls on the South to take “practical” actions to address its concerns.
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told lawmakers on Oct. 30 that South Korea is not considering any additional installation of THAAD and that it won’t join the U.S.-led missile defense networks. It also does not want to enter a three-way security alliance with Washington and Tokyo, she said.
Moon also dismissed a local report that China has requested Seoul set up a shield against a radar of the THAAD pointing to China. Beijing has claimed that the radar could spy on its military facilities and harm its security interests.
The report also said that China has demanded South Korea give a technical explanation on THAAD and allow Beijing to conduct an on-site survey on the southern county of Seongju, where the system is located.
The foreign ministry also rejected the report as “groundless,” saying that China has made no such request during the latest meeting of top diplomats of Seoul and Beijing.
Kang held talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Wednesday in Beijing to discuss plans for a summit between their leaders in December.
“Under the October agreement, the two sides decided to continue communication over the THAAD issue through military channels,” the ministry said.