BEIJING (Sputnik) — China opposes the additional deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense systems in South Korea and has lodged a "stern representation" to Seoul protesting the move, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Thursday.
On Wednesday, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said that four additional THAAD systems would be deployed at a base in the central country's Seongju county. On Thursday, the ministry announced that the activities aimed at "temporary deployment" of the systems had been completed and stressed that it would clarify its position to the neighboring states.
"China opposes the deployment of the US THAAD system in South Korea… We have already lodged stern representation to South Korea," Geng said at a press briefing.
The United States and South Korea viewed the deployment of the THAAD system as an important step amid escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula due to Pyongyang’s determined progress of its nuclear arms program.
A number of other countries, including China and Russia opposed the deployment citing security concerns.
The move also met the strong opposition of the local residents. Hundreds of residents of South Korea's North Gyeongsang Province took to the streets to protest against the government's decision, but the protests evolved into clashes with police.