China's foreign ministry recently called in South Korea's ambassador to Beijing in protest of Seoul's decision to deploy more interceptor missile launchers of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, a local newspaper reported Tuesday.
Kong Xuanyou, assistant minister at the Chinese foreign ministry, brought in Ambassador Kim Jang-soo on Saturday, right after President Moon Jae-in ordered the deployment of an additional four THAAD launchers in response to North Korea's latest missile provocation, the JoongAng Ilbo reported, citing multiple diplomatic sources.
China also demanded the Seoul government stop the THAAD deployment immediately and withdraw all related equipment, the newspaper reported.
Huh Seung-jae, an official in charge of relations with China at Seoul's foreign ministry, declined to comment on the report.
South Korea and the United States have been installing a THAAD battery comprised of six launchers in a former golf course in Seongju, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, since they announced the plan in July last year to better defend against the North's missile threats. Only two of the six have been installed, and the remainder has been on standby pending an environmental impact review.
China has objected to its installation, saying that the missile defense system and, in particular, its strong radar system could undercut its military capabilities. Beijing summoned Ambassador Kim to lodge its official protest right after the deployment decision was announced last year.
Late Friday night, the North test-fired what it later claimed to be a second and improved intercontinental ballistic missile, drawing strong condemnation for violating multiple UNSecurity Council resolutions. (Yonhap)