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Seoul asks Beijing to lift trade restrictions over missile row: trade ministry

South Korea has asked China to remove economic sanctions imposed on South Korea due to the diplomatic row over the deployment of a US missile defense system here, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Friday.

China has been retaliating economically against South Korea since early this year over the stationing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.

South Korea says the missile defense system is not aimed at China but is to combat North Korea's missile and nuclear threats. China, however, sees it as a national security threat.

Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Kang Sung-chun made the request when he met with Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming and other Chinese officials at a trade fair in Changchun, northeastern China, according to the ministry.

"South Korean firms operating in China have been suffering from a series of measures taken by the Chinese government recently," Kang was quoted as telling the Chinese officials. "We asked the Chinese government to pay attention to the issue so it can be addressed."

Kang also met with officials of the Jilin provincial government to discuss ways to enhance economic cooperation.

In a keynote speech made at the trade fair which will last until Tuesday, Kang called for enhanced connectivity among Northeast Asian neighbors.

"We need to raise the connection in transportation, logistics and energy among regional economies to sustain integrity and comprehensive growth in Northeast Asia," he said. "It is also necessary for regional economics in Northeast Asia to strengthen economic integration by enhancing trade and investment." (Yonhap)
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