World

China demands suspension of Thaad deployment

BEIJING: China yesterday called for the immediate suspension of a controversial missile defence system hours after Washington confirmed the shield is now operational in South Korea.

"China's position is clear-cut and firm. We oppose the deployment of the Thaad (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) system in (South Korea) and urge relevant sides to immediately stop the deployment," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

"We will firmly take necessary measures to uphold our interests."

Washington and Seoul had agreed to the Thaad battery deployment last July in the wake of a string of North Korean missile tests.

Mr Geng also expressed support for US President Donald Trump's comments that he would consider meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Mr Trump said on Monday that he would be "honoured" to meet Mr Kim under the right conditions, dialling down earlier threats of military action.

"China has always believed that dialogue and consultation... is the only realistic and viable way to achieve denuclearisation," Mr Geng said.

"We also said many times that the US and DPRK... should make political decisions at an early date, take action and show good faith so that we can create a better atmosphere for resuming the peace talks." - AFP

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