17:27 GMT12 July 2020
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    South Korea hopes to send a clear message to its' northern neighboor during the visit of US VP Michael Pence, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cho June-hyuck said on Wednesday.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — South Korea hopes to send a clear message to North Korea during the visit of US Vice President Michael Pence, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cho June-hyuck said on Wednesday.

    "As Vice President Pence's South Korean visit comes at a very sensitive time… A clear message on joint efforts in terms of the South Korea-U.S. alliance against North Korea will be sent out," the spokesman said, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency, stressing that this will be the first visit by Pence to Asia since taking office.

    He added that the "message" would also be made clear on the issue of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system deployment in South Korea, which has been met with sharp criticism by China, who claim that the ballistic missile defense network will undermine security in Northeast Asia.

    President Donald Trump gestures while sitting in an 18-wheeler truck while meeting with truckers and CEOs regarding healthcare on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 23, 2017.
    © AP Photo / Andrew Harnik
    Pence is expected to meet with South Korea's Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn and National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun, and then will spend Easter Sunday, April 16, with US troops.

    The agreement between the United States and South Korea on deploying the THAAD system on South Korean soil was reached in July 2016, with the first components of the system arriving in the country on March 8 in response to North Korea’s ballistic missile tests, part of the deployment began in early March 2017.


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    visit, ballistic missile defense, alliance, THAAD, Yonhap, Mike Pence, Cho June-hyuck, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), South Korea, United States
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