China is now claiming that South Korea has pledged to limit the operation of the U.S. missile defense system THAAD, a system whose deployment in Korea China has long objected to because of its powerful radar.
This claim comes a day after talks between the two countries' foreign ministers, and contradicts the policy of the South Korean administration.
The Foreign Ministry in Seoul reponded today, saying there's been no such pledge.
Min Suk-hyen with the details.
South Korea's Foreign Ministry has expressed discontent over China's latest remarks on THAAD, the U.S. missile defense system.
The ministry on Wednesday reiterated South Korea's position, saying THAAD was a means of self-defense against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.
It also stressed that THAAD cannot be a topic of consultation as it's a matter of national security.
In fact, the ministry said that if the issue were to be raised constantly, it would become an obstacle to their bilateral ties.
The comments come just hours after Beijing claimed that Seoul had officially promised to restrict its THAAD operation.
Earlier in the day, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said that the South Korean government had vowed to pursue a "Three Noes" policy, along with a pledge to limit the operation of the THAAD battery that's already in place.
The spokesperson also went on to say that the deployment of THAAD in South Korea harmed its security interests.
"The US' deployment of THAAD in South Korea clearly undermines China's strategic security interests. China has expressed its concerns to Korea on multiple occasions and the South Korean government has accordingly made public its commitments to the "Three Noes, One Limit" policy. China attaches importance to this position."
The "Three Noes" policy, carried out by South Korea's former administration, says no to deploying additional THAAD anti-missile system in Korea; no to participating in the U.S.-led missile defense network; and no to taking part in the trilateral military alliance with the U.S. and Japan.
China wants the current Yoon Suk-yeol administration to stay committed to the policy.
But the South Korean government says it was never a formal agreement or promise made between the two.
The latest remarks from both sides show signs of a diplomatic row brewing between the countries, just a day after the top diplomats of South Korea and China held bilateral talks.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.