China says opposes U.S. THAAD defence system in South Korea

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian speaks at a news conference in Beijing, China April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s foreign ministry said on Friday it firmly opposes the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defence system in South Korea and urged the U.S. not to harm bilateral relations between Beijing and Seoul.

American and South Korean troops brought replacement THAAD missiles to a base in South Korea overnight, Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed officials who described it as a routine resupply operation.

The missiles were to replace older ones and the number of weapons at the base did not increase, the report said.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing that Beijing and Seoul have reached a clear consensus on a phased resolution to the THAAD issue and said China hopes Seoul will adhere to that agreement.

Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; writing by Se Young Lee; editing by Jason Neely