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South Korea Rules Out Renegotiation of THAAD Cost – Defense Ministry

© AP Photo / Ahn Young-joonSouth Korean protesters stage a rally to oppose a plan to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, in front of the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017
South Korean protesters stage a rally to oppose a plan to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, in front of the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 - Sputnik International
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South Korea will not renegotiate the cost of the anti-ballistic missile system Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense Moon Sang-gyun said on Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Friday, US President Donald Trump said in an interview with the Washington Times that South Korea should pay for the defense system, which costs $1 billion. Representatives of the South Korean Foreign Ministry said that Seoul has not received US demands to pay the costs of the THAAD despite Trump’s statements.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks at a rocket warhead tip after a simulated test of atmospheric re-entry of a ballistic missile, at an unidentified location in this undated file photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on March 15, 2016. - Sputnik International
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"I don't think it's an issue for renegotiation," the spokesman said, as cited by the Yonhap news agency.

On Sunday, US National Security Adviser Herbert Raymond McMaster reaffirmed that Washington, and not Seoul, should pay for the deployment.

The agreement on deploying the THAAD system was reached between the United States and South Korea in July 2016, and the first components of the system started to arrive in the country in early March. The agreement implies that Seoul provides land for the system while Washington pays for its installation and maintenance.

According to media reports, citing the South Korean Ministry of Defense, Seoul is expecting to fully station the system as early as June 2017.

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