China voiced opposition Wednesday to the potential deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system to South Korea during a U.N. Security Council meeting held to adopt a new resolution expanding sanctions on North Korea.
"China opposes the deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system on the Korean peninsula because such an action harms the strategic security interests of China and other countries of the region, goes against the goal of maintaining peace, security, and stability of the peninsula," China's U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, said.
THAAD's deployment "will seriously undermine the effort of the international community to seek the political solution to the question of the Korean peninsula," he said.
China has expressed strong protests and complaints since South Korea and the U.S. jointly announced shortly after the North's Feb. 7 long-range missile test that they would begin official discussions on the possible placement of the THAAD system in South Korea.
Both Seoul and Washington have repeatedly assured Beijing that THAAD is a purely defensive system. Last week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also said that the system wouldn't be necessary if North Korea were denuclearized.
During Wednesday's meeting, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said that it is because North Korean threats that the U.S. and the South are discussing THAAD's deployment. South Korean Ambassador Oh Joon also said the system is part of defense strategies under discussion between the two countries. (Yonhap)