Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: South Korea summons Chinese ambassador over missile defense comments

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry objected to remarks made the previous day by Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Qiu Guohong made to Kim Jong-in, interim leader of the Minjoo Party of Korea. During their meeting, Qiu was quoted as saying that China-South Korea relations could be destroyed because of the single issue of the THAAD missile defense system. The South Korean government summoned Qiu to the Foreign Ministry to issue a complaint. The move is expected to make an impression, since it is rare for Seoul to summon the Chinese ambassador, though it sometimes summons officials from the Japanese Embassy. The last time that Seoul summoned the Chinese ambassador was in Dec. 2011. Then Ambassador Zhang Xinsen was asked to visit South Korea’s Foreign Minister after a member of the South Korean Coast Guard was killed in a tussle with Chinese fishing boats. On Feb. 7, the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned South Korean Ambassador to China Kim Jang-soo to protest South Korea’s announcement that it would begin deliberating with the US about deploying the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system with US forces in South Korea, meaning that both Beijing and Seoul have summoned each other‘s ambassadors over the issue of deploying THAAD.



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