US dismisses China's concern over missiledefence
A senior US official on Tuesday brushed offBeijing's objection to the possible deployment of a US missile defence systemin South Korea, saying North Korea's missile programme poses a"significant threat."
The comments by US Assistant Secretary ofState Daniel Russel, who is visiting Seoul, came after China's AssistantMinister of Foreign Affairs Liu Jianchao expressed concern on Monday over theidea of a US missile defence system on South Korean soil.
Liu's statement followed similar commentsmade by Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan during his visit to Seoul lastmonth. China sees the system as designed to curb its own military might.
"I find it curious that a thirdcountry would presume to make strong presentations about a security system thathas not been put in place and that is still a matter of theory," Russel toldjournalists after meeting with South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister LeeKyung-Soo.
US military authorities say they haveconducted "informal studies" to find suitable sites for a possiblefuture deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery. Butthey have stressed that no decisions have been made to deploy such a system.
Russel said South Korea and the UnitedStates face a "signficant threat from North Korea's growing ballisticmissile programme", which he said the North pursues in violation ofinternational laws.
"Our military authorities haveresponsibility to consider systems that would protect Republic of Korea (SouthKorea) citizens, protect the United States from that threat".
"How they do it when they do it issomething that the experts will have to determine but I think that it is forthe Republic of Korea to decide what measures it will take in its own alliancedefence", he added.
Walking a diplomatic tight rope betweenChina and the United States, South Korea remains ambivalent on the sensitivesecurity issue, saying there have been neither consultations with the UnitedStates nor a decision on the matter.
South Korea's Defence Ministry SpokesmanKim Min-Seok on Tuesday condemned China's attempt to "influence"South Korea's security policy.
"Neighbours can have their ownpositions on the (possible) deployment of the THAAD system here by the USForces Korea. But they should not try to influence our security policy,"the spokesman told a regular briefing.
He didn't mention China by name, but themessage was clear.
"We will make a decision based uponour own judgement after putting security interests before anything else if theUS government asks for consultation," Kim stressed.
South Korea hosts some 28,000 US troops.
Separately, Russel also made a fresh callfor China to present evidence that the China-proposed Asia InfrastructureInvestment Bank (AIIB) meets international standards for governance andtransparency.
"We would like to see that done inways that are consistent with the principles, the standards, good governanceand the transparency that have become hallmarks of truly multilateraldevelopment banks," he said.
China's Lui had expressed hope Monday thatSouth Korea join as a founding member of the AIIB -- which Washington fearscould be a rival to the World Bank and extend Beijing's power.
Tim 1 day ago
Now… how could anyone realistically sayAmerica is not the greatest country on the face of the earth, thus far? Notsaying we do not have our problems and our faults BUT we give more away interms of aid then the whole world COMBINED (Fact), we shoulder the world'smilitary force/burden and have consistent rules/values (albeit they are beingworn away little by little). MY POINT by stating this is that when I stated itearlier, two people put "thumbs down" and "Jack" seemed tobe critical of the U.S. Yes we need to be critical and look at things closelybut always keep the truth the truth. And for those that do not feel that way,there is the door… get your butts to a third world country and make yourself athome… good luck!
Nick 1 day ago
This exposes two important talking points:First is China's constant support for North Korea which is the catalyst forthis entire topic. Second is why is China so concerned about this system?Simple: The radar and technology used for THAAD can be used to protect US andallied forces in Japan and South Korea. You see, in order for China to have ashot at taking Taiwan by force it would have to target US forces in the area toprevent them from responding. In other words China is upset because this systemcould prevent them from launching a preemptive strike on America forces. Awshucks.