China reaffirms its strong objections to US plans on deploying a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea, as it may threaten China’s national security, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang said Friday.
In July 2016, the United States and South Korea announced their intention to deploy a THAAD system 300 kilometers (some 185 miles) away from Seoul as a deterrence measure against a possible missile attack from North Korea.
“China’s position on the THAAD issue is clear and consistent and is subject to no change. We strongly urge relevant countries to immediately stop and revoke the deployment of the THAAD system,” Lu said at a regular press conference as quoted by the ministry.
Lu added that Beijing is worried that the missile defense system’s radars may affect China’s military installations, impairing the country’s defense capabilities.
THAAD is designed for high-altitude extra-atmospheric interception of short and medium-range missiles and can, if needed, be used against North Korean ballistic missiles.
Moscow and Beijing have repeatedly voiced concern over the THAAD deployment in South Korea.
According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, the range of THAAD does not exceed 200 kilometers (around 120 miles). The US-South Korea agreement stipulates that Seoul provides a total of 690,000 square meters (170.5 acres) of land for the system in two stages, while Washington pays for the installation and maintenance of it.