09:24 GMT +319 November 2019
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    A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency

    S Korea, China Aim to Ease Dispute Over THAAD Before Leaders Meeting - Reports

    © REUTERS / U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency/Handout
    Asia & Pacific
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    Beijing has been concerned with the deployment of the US-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) defense systems in South Korea, as Seoul has made the decision to install more systems on its territory.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — South Korea and China have stepped up diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute over the deployment of US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the Korean Peninsula ahead of a planned November meeting of the countries' leaders, local media reported Sunday, citing officials from the South Korean presidential office.

    China and Russia have strongly opposed the THAAD deployment, citing national security concerns.

    "We are making various efforts to settle the THAAD problem smoothly before the two leaders meet during the APEC conference. Active working-level coordination is underway," an official said, as quoted by Yonhap news agency.

    Another official stressed that resolving the dispute around THAAD might be "a necessary and sufficient condition" in preparations for the summit.

    In July 2016, Seoul and Washington agreed to deploy the THAAD system in South Korea's Seongju County amid growing tensions spurred by North Korea's ballistic and nuclear tests. The THAAD system is designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles at the terminal incoming stage.

    The final units of the THAAD missile defense system were deployed in early September after North Korea launched several missiles and conducted a nuclear test, however, the military unit and specialists operating it had not been fully in place.

    South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam on November 10-11.


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    Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), nuclear test, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), United States, South Korea
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