S. Korea, US defence chiefs back anti-missile system: South Korea's defence chief and his new US counterpart vowed Tuesday to push ahead with a plan to deploy a US anti-missile system this year, Seoul's military said, despite angry protests by China.
The two allies last year announced the plan to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system following a series of atomic and missile tests by nuclear-armed North Korea.
New US Defense Secretary James Mattis and his South Korean counterpart Han Min-Koo reaffirmed the plan in a phone conversation, Seoul's defence ministry said, days before Mattis visits Asia.
How the incoming administration of President Donald Trump will approach the region has raised worries in South Korea and Japan, both of them longstanding US allies.
During his campaign, Trump threatened to withdraw US forces from the two countries if they did not step up their financial support for their defence.
Mattis and Han voiced grave concern over growing threats from North Korea and agreed on "a need...to push ahead with the deployment of the THAAD as planned", the ministry said in a statement.
The two ministers also warned that the North may stage armed provocations at times of power transitions in the South and the US.
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