THAAD Row Looms Over Korea-China Summit

The lack of joint press conference with regard to the summit talks between South Korea and China is said to hide their different opinions on THAAD deployment in South Korea

Moon's trip, which includes a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping and a state dinner, comes less than a month after Pyongyang tested what it claimed is a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting all of the USA mainland.

Japan's maritime Self-Defense Force said that the US, Japan and South Korea would hold two-day missile tracking drills from Monday, which is the sixth drill sharing information on tracking ballistic missiles among the three nations, Reuters reported on Sunday.

"I haven't seen such reports", Mr. Lu said.

While both South Korea and China share the goal of getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and stop testing increasingly sophisticated long-range missiles, the two have not seen eye-to-eye on how to achieve this. "China and Russian Federation have maintained the comprehensive strategic partnership for peaceful purposes, and they are equal", a Beijing-based military expert who requested anonymity, told the Global Times on Monday. 11, two days before the president was scheduled to begin his state visit the China.

Is there any way back from the US-North Korea black hole of confrontation? The two earlier met on the sidelines of the Group of 20 Summit in Germany in July and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vietnam last month. The agreement came after a year-long stand-off over the deployment of an U.S. anti-missile system, Terminal High Altitude Area Defence System, or Thaad, under former South Korean president Park Geun-hye.

South Korean companies are increasing their investments in China at a time when the two economic powers are moving to fix their relationship that was damaged by the deployment of a US missile defense system on South Korean soil in March.

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Moon told the state-run CCTV on Monday that Thaad was deployed to deter North Korea and does not target China. In November past year, high-level military dialogue between the two armies was also suspended because of heightened tensions, reported South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

On Friday, Moon will embark on a two-day visit to Chongqing, which is at the centre of China's One Road, One Belt development initiative and is home to many prominent business operations of South Korean companies, including Hyundai Motor.

Last month, China also conducted extensive military drills near its border with North Korea, although a foreign ministry spokesperson later claimed they were not "aimed at any country".

However, any refugee settlements would mark a shift in China's policy towards North Korean refugees, who they have previously said are recognized exclusively as illegal economic migrants and if apprehended are sent back to North Korea to face nearly certain torture.

But deep political trust can not be built in a day, experts said, pointing out that China's essential position on Thaad has not changed.

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