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South Korea Believes US Committed to THAAD Deal Despite Trump's Remarks

© REUTERS / USFK/YonhapA Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor arrives at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, in this handout picture provided by the United States Forces Korea (USFK) and released by Yonhap on March 7, 2017. Picture taken on March 6, 2017
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor arrives at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, in this handout picture provided by the United States Forces Korea (USFK) and released by Yonhap on March 7, 2017. Picture taken on March 6, 2017 - Sputnik International
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South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se expressed confidence on Monday that the US would remain committed to the terms of the bilateral agreement on the deployment of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system to South Korea, despite Trump’s claims that Seoul should pay for the system’s deployment.

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 had not received US demands to pay for the THAAD despite Trump’s statements.

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
South Korea Rules Out Renegotiation of THAAD Cost – Defense Ministry

"I think (the focus of his interview) was placed on keeping (the terms of) the deal reached between the two countries," Yun told reporters, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

On Sunday, US National Security Adviser Herbert Raymond McMaster reaffirmed that Washington, and not Seoul, should pay for the THAAD deployment. McMaster added that the terms of the deal would remain in force until the talks to renegotiate the agreement.

In this photo provided by U.S. Forces Korea, a truck carrying parts of U.S. missile launchers and other equipment needed to set up the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system arrive at Osan air base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Monday, March 6, 2017. - Sputnik International
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Earlier in the day, spokesman for the South Korean Ministry of National Defense Moon Sang-gyun said that Seoul would not renegotiate the cost of the THAAD 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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