Russia, China oppose US missile-defense in South Korea

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, welcomes his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi prior to their meeting in Moscow, Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, welcomes his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi prior to their meeting in Moscow, Russia (Photo: AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

MOSCOW (AP) — The foreign ministers of China and Russia are opposing the possible deployment of an advanced American missile-defense system in South Korea.

Amid escalating tensions over North Korea's nuclear arsenal, Washington and Seoul last week began formal talks on deploying the sophisticated THAAD system.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a news conference Friday after meeting with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that putting the system in South Korea would "inflict direct harm to the strategic security interests of China and Russia."

Lavrov said deploying the system would be an overreaction.

"The plans, which the U.S. has been nursing together with the Republic of Korea, exceed any conceivable threats that may come from North Korea, even taking Pyongyang's current actions into account," he said.

In Washington, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. was in consultation with South Korea about a possible THAAD deployment because of the provocative behavior of North Korea.

"I don't know if it's going to get deployed, but if it does, there's no reason for the Russians or the Chinese to be concerned about it because it is purely defensive in nature," Kirby told reporters.

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