S. Korean Opposition Lawmakers Visit China to Discuss THAAD

Seoul, – A group of lawmakers from the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea (MPK) visited China on Monday for talks with Chinese officials and scholars over the planned deployment of an advanced US anti-missile system to South Korea, a major thorn in the relations between Seoul and Beijing.

The six first-term MPK lawmakers brushed off intense opposition from the presidential office, ruling party and even those within their own party ranks who warned their visit would worsen the division among South Koreans over the deployment plan and only help strengthen China’s position against it, South Korea’s news agency (Yonhap) reported.

“We are going to visit (China) to only contribute even a little to improving chilled diplomatic relations between South Korea and China,” Rep. Kim Young-ho, who leads the group, told reporters before departing for China.

Since Seoul and Washington announced their plan last month to install a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the peninsula by end-2017, Beijing ramped up criticism of it, repeating that THAAD will undermine regional stability and China’s security interests.

Source: Qatar News Agency