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Park, Xi hold summit amid THAAD row

President Park Geun-hye and her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a summit in Hangzhou, China, on Monday amid strains in their relations over the planned deployment of a US antimissile system in South Korea.

The bilateral talks, the eighth between Park and Xi, were held on the sidelines of the summit of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies in China's eastern lakeside city.

The issue related to the stationing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system on the Korean Peninsula has emerged as a major thorn in the Seoul-Beijing relations as Beijing strongly opposes it, saying it would hurt its security interests.

Seoul has defended the move as an "inevitable, self-defense" measure to counter Pyongyang's evolving nuclear and missile threats.

In an interview with Russia's state-run news agency, Rossiya Segodnya, last week, Park stressed that if Pyongyang's escalating military threats are eliminated, the need for THAAD will "naturally" dissipate.

During his summit with US President Barack Obama on Saturday, Xi reiterated his opposition to THAAD, asking the United States to respect China's strategic security interests, according to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.

He called on "all parties to refrain from any act that could escalate regional tension and collectively make positive efforts to put the situation back on the right track," the news agency reported.  (Yonhap)

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