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China tells South Korea it firmly opposes deployment of THAAD missile-defence shield

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his South Korean counterpart on Wednesday that Beijing “firmly opposes” the deployment of a US-developed anti-missile system on the Korean peninsula.

China hopes South Korea and China can meet each other half way and find an appropriate resolution that both sides can accept, Wang was quoted as saying by the Foreign Ministry in Beijing.

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Wang met Yun Byung-se on the sidelines of a meeting between China, South Korea and Japan’s foreign ministers in Tokyo.

The talks were held amid friction over territorial disputes, security concerns and lingering allegations from China and South Korea that Japan has not sufficiently atoned for atrocities committed in the second world war.

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“China firmly opposes the deployment of THAAD,” Wang told reporters after his meeting with Yun, referring to the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence system.

“I don’t want to see the friendly cooperation being affected by the THAAD issue.”

Seoul says the missile defence shield is needed because of threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, but China says it poses a threat to its security.

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The three foreign ministers agreed earlier on Wednesday to enhance regional cooperation, despite the rising tensions between their nations.

The meeting decided to work towards a three-nation summit later this year in Japan and to push forward negotiations on a trilateral free trade agreement.