Trump has explained Thaad move to Xi: Seoul

US President Donald Trump (third, left) holding a bilateral meeting with China's President Xi Jinping (second, right) at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, US, on April 7, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL • President Donald Trump has explained to China's President Xi Jinping America's position on the deployment of an anti-missile defence system to South Korea, according to a statement from South Korea's acting leader.

Mr Trump informed South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo Ahn in a telephone call yesterday of his summit discussion with Mr Xi.

China opposes the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) system in South Korea, arguing it could threaten its security, but South Korea and the US say it is aimed at countering North Korea's missile threat.

Beijing has increased pressure and imposed restrictions on some South Korean firms doing business in China, which led many in the South to believe Beijing was retaliating against the Thaad deployment. China has not directly said it is targeting South Korean firms.

"President Trump said he and President Xi held in-depth discussions on the seriousness of North Korea's nuclear problem and how to respond to it, and also said he had conveyed the US position on the Thaad deployment," the statement said.

Mr Trump pressed Mr Xi to do more to curb North Korea's nuclear programme in their meeting, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

The US began deployment of the Thaad system last month, a day after the North test-fired four ballistic missiles.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 09, 2017, with the headline Trump has explained Thaad move to Xi: Seoul. Subscribe