THAAD deployment not on agenda at Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore: Seoul
There are conflicting opinions on whether the defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States will hold discussions on the deployment to South Korea of the U.S. missile defense system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense... or THAAD.
The officials are scheduled to meet this weekend at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
Connie Kim reports.
The South Korean government says the potential deployment of the U.S. missile defense system will NOT be on the agenda at talks this weekend between the defense chiefs of the two allies.
Seoul's defense ministry was forced to issue a denial after U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said he expected the issue of the THAAD deployment to come up during his meeting Saturday with South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo.
Carter had told reporters that THAAD was not something the two allies needed to discuss too much because the plans were already in motion.
He also emphasized that the deployment was an alliance decision.
Shortly after North Korea launched a long-range ballistic missile in early February, the two allies announced they would officially enter negotiations for the deployment of the defense system that can counter the growing missile threats posed by Pyongyang.
A joint working group for the THAAD deployment launched in early March,... and the two sides have been discussing the possible location, costs, and environmental issues of the system.
Neither South Korea nor the United States have revealed any details of how far talks have progressed thus far.
China and Russia have previously voiced objections over the deployment out of domestic security concerns, including the reach of the THAAD system.