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South Korean Lawmakers Head for China To Discuss THAAD Deployment

Jan. 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—Eight South Korean lawmakers from the nation’s main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), including the current leading Presidential hopeful Moon Jae-in, will visit China on Jan. 4 for a three-day visit. The visit’s purpose is to attempt to ease tensions with Beijing over the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems in South Korea, one of the delegates told Sputnik today.

The South Korean lawmakers are expected to hold a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during their visit.

"We will tell Beijing that our presidential candidates, including Moon, are calling [for] the THAAD issue to be reconsidered in the next government,"

DPK member Song Young-gil told the South China Morning Post. Plus, we will also discuss China’s role in resolving icy relations between South and North Korea.

The purpose of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which South Korea agreed in 2016 could be deployed on its territory by the end of 2017, was supposedly to counter threats from North Korea. Now, it has become one of the main irritations in Beijing-Seoul relations, Sputnik reports. China and Russia have repeatedly voiced their opposition to the deployment of THAAD, arguing that its real aim is to deter the strategic weapon systems not only in the Korean peninsula’s North, but primarily in China’s hinterlands and Russia’s Far East regions.