Beijing has urged Washington not to deploy its THAAD missile system to the Korean Peninsula, saying it could also be used to target China.
Wang Yi , the Chinese foreign minister said on Friday that his country has urged the United States to refrain from the deployment to South Korea.
He said: “The facts are clear. The deployment of the THAAD system by the United States … goes far beyond the defense need of the Korean Peninsula and the coverage would mean it will reach deep into the Asian continent….
“This directly affects the strategic security interests of China and other Asian countries”
The Pentagon confirmed on Monday that it would start formal talks with South Korea about placing the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System on North Korea’s doorstep “as quickly as possible” to counter growing threats and provocations from the North.
Press TV reports: The Chinese foreign minister said Washington has hidden purposes for the missile system.
“It doesn’t require experts. Ordinary people know that the deployment of the THAAD system is not just to defend South Korea, but a wider agenda and may even serve the possibility of targeting China.”
Wang said China is ready to support a wide-ranging UN Security Council resolution against North Korea over its recent rocket launch in a bid to get Pyongyang back to the negotiating table.
“(We) support the United Nations Security Council to take further steps and in adopting a new resolution so that North Korea will pay the necessary price and show there are consequences for its behavior,” Wang said, speaking through an interpreter.
Pyongyang has been under UN sanctions over its nuclear tests and launching missiles considered by the US and South Korea as ballistic and aimed at delivering nuclear warheads.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook insisted the THAAD missile system would not pose a threat to China.
“If the THAAD system were deployed to the Korean Peninsula, it would be focused solely on North Korea, contribute to a layered missile defense that would enhance the alliance’s existing missile defense capabilities against potential North Korean missile threats,” he said.
“This is a defensive system put in place. We don’t believe it should pose any kind of concern to the Chinese,” he stressed.