South Koreans Hold Mass March to Denounce THAAD Weapons System

South Koreans Hold Mass March to Denounce THAAD Weapons System

"The Asahi Shimbun's report that U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon demanded the deployment of Thaad before the year's end in a meeting with our government officials is not true", the Blue House official said in a released statement.

The resolution also called for the two countries to work together to "fully and effectively enforce existing sanctions (on North Korea) and consider the need to take immediate action to pass additional and meaningful new measures".

Diplomatic sources said that the number of sponsors of the resolution is the highest ever for a resolution welcoming a South Korean president or calling for strengthening the alliance between the two countries.

South Korea or its head of state Moon Jae-in does not need permission from the USA president or anyone else to engage North Korea in dialogue, Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday. "But for some reason that I do not know, this entire THAAD process was accelerated", Moon added.

Thousands of protesters marched near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul on Saturday to denounce U.S. President Donald Trump's blatant disrespect for South Korean sovereignty and its largely unilateral decision to deploy a controversial U.S. missile shield capable of spying on China.

Seoul and Washington agreed in July previous year to place one THAAD battery in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province.

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Korea temporarily suspended the Thaad deployment, citing a need for an environmental impact assessment of the US missile shield.

Pyongyang's patron, China, has also condemned THAAD while engaging in a costly unofficial trade war with South Korea over its decision to install the missile defense system.

The THAAD issue is widely expected to top the agenda in Moon's upcoming talks with his USA counterpart Donald Trump in Washington next week.

"Resumption of dialogue with North Korea may need to be pursued in close cooperation and consultation with the United States, but South Korea does not need to be allowed by the U.S. to do so", Kwun Hyuk-ki, a Presidency spokesman, told Yonhap News Agency.

President Moon Jae-in said Thursday the deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the US here was "mysteriously" accelerated.

"The president must have been very offended when given the question. Aren't you giving in to them?" asked the USA interviewer. South Korea also operates Aegis-equipped destroyers.

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