S Korean parties split over diplomatic impact of THAAD deployment

(From Yonhap)

South Korea’s ruling and opposition parties remained divided over the latest decision to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system in the country, with smaller parties expressing concerns over diplomatic fall-outs with China and Russia, political pundits said Monday.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo speaks about Seoul and Washington’s decision to deploy the THAAD system in South Korea

Last week, Seoul and Washington agreed to station the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea to better counter Pyongyang’s ever-growing missile threats. Moscow and Beijing have been opposing the move, claiming it will undermine the strategic balance in the region.

“We cannot help being worried over the strong opposition from China and Russia, along with the possible economic restrictions that can be implemented by Beijing (on South Korea),” said Kim Jong-in, the interim head of the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea.

China is South Korea’s No. 1 trading partner.

“It is also true that the majority of the public remains suspicious over the necessity of THAAD. They are questioning whether the system can effectively defend the country from the North’s missiles,” Kim added.

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