June 07, 2017 12:12
Cheong Wa Dae has asked the White House to exclude the controversial issue of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery stationed here, from the agenda when President Moon Jae-in meets his counterpart Donald Trump in Washington later this month.
A Cheong Wa Dae official said too much fuss is being made about Moon's plans to let the National Assembly review the deployment. "Some measures are being taken regarding the THAAD deployment, but that does not mean we want to send it back, and we have already conveyed this point to the U.S," a Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.
"An understanding has already been reached between U.S. and Korean officials, so we expect the THAAD issue to be excluded from the agenda of the summit," he added. He claimed the U.S. has said it "understands" the matter, but no agreement has been made.
One diplomatic source said, "Even if the THAAD issue is excluded from the agenda, Trump may decide to comment on the issue during a press conference so we are preparing for that."
Trump has demanded that Korea pay for the deployment, which was heavily pushed by the Obama administration, but the Pentagon hastily pointed out that Washington is bearing the cost.
Meanwhile, the director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, James Syring, took a look at the THAAD battery stationed in southwestern Korea on Tuesday, according to a U.S. military source.
"The visit was aimed at inspecting whether the battery was set up according to MDA standards and to listen to the input of the field commander," the source said.
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