Beijing has called for the immediate suspension of a controversial American anti-missile system deployed to South Korea hours after Washington announced the system, known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense THAAD, is now operational. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang voiced the government’s position during a briefing today.
In July last year, Washington and Seoul agreed to the deployment of the THAAD battery in the wake of missile tests by North Korea, deemed to be threatening by the West.
Beijing further expressed support for US President Donald Trump’s remarks that he was open to a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Trump said on Monday that he “would be honored” to meet with Kim in appropriate conditions, scaling down earlier threats of a major, major conflict with North Korea.
The spokesperson didn’t specify what protective measures China has in mind. However, responding to the THAAD installation, China announced on Thursday that it will stage live-fire exercises and test new weapons to protect its security.
The deployment of the US defense system has also triggered protests in South Korea, with citizens saying that it would only provoke an attack from their northern neighbor.