South Korea, Seoul: Today, South Korea rejected warning of China about the planned deployment of a United States (US) missile defence system could damage ties, stressing that it was to counter growing threats from North Korea. The presidential spokesman Jeong Yeon-Guk said, “The deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system (THAAD) is a measure of self-defence against growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea”.
Jeong said the issue would be “decided in accordance with security and national interests,” adding that “China will have to recognise the point.” The remarks came after Chinese ambassador Qiu Guohong Tuesday warned that installation of the THAAD system on the Korean Peninsula could “destroy” relations between Beijing and Seoul.
China has repeatedly protested since Washington and Seoul announced plans to deploy the missile defence in the South, in response to North Korea`s recent nuclear test and rocket launch. But Tuesday was the first time that a Chinese diplomat or official has warned of the effect on diplomatic ties with Seoul.
South Korea`s foreign ministry said it was taking “necessary measures” about Qiu`s comments without elaborating further. “Before raising an issue about the THAAD deployment, it will be reasonable to consider the root of the problem,” the ministry said. The THAAD system fires anti-ballistic missiles to smash into enemy missiles either inside or outside the Earth`s atmosphere during their final flight phase. The interceptor missiles carry no warheads, instead relying on kinetic energy to destroy their targets.