BEIJING (Sputnik) — The US military has started moving equipment for the THAAD missile defense system to its deployment site.
"We closely follow these messages. We have already expressed serious concerns about this to the US and South Korean side," ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a briefing.
The spokesman reiterated China's stance on THAAD undermining Chinese strategic security interests and raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
"China will undertake all the necessary firm measures to protect its interests," Geng said, calling on both Washington and Seoul to halt the deployment and stressing that the move distorts the balance of power in Asia, undermines efforts at denuclearizing the Korea Peninsula and threatens regional peace and stability.
On March 8, components for the THAAD system began to arrive in South Korea as Seoul wanted the system to be deployed rapidly in response to the threat from North Korea’s ballistic missile tests.
Seoul and Washington first agreed to deploy THAAD in July 2016. The system is designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles at the terminal incoming stage.