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U.S. official due in Seoul over missile defense

A senior U.S. official will visit South Korea next week for talks on missile defense and other security issues, the State Department announced Thursday.

Frank A. Rose, assistant secretary for arms control, verification and compliance, plans to arrive here Thursday for a two-day stay.

It's part of his regional trip that will also take him to China, Japan and Vietnam.

He will be engaged in "meetings and external events on space security, missile defense, arms control, and other bilateral and multilateral security topics," the department said.

His upcoming visit draws keen attention in South Korea as it comes amid a controversy over whether the United States should put a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery on the peninsula.

In May, Rose said the U.S. is considering "the permanent stationing of a THAAD unit on the Korean Peninsula."

China and North Korea are against the move on concerns it will increase U.S. military influence in the region.

Officials in both Seoul and Washington have publicly said they are in internal discussions, not bilateral consultations, over the advanced missile defense system issue. (Yonhap)

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