The U.S. has said that any criticism of South Korea’s self-defense methods or pressure to abandon them is inappropriate.
According to Voice of America, the support from the State Department on Wednesday, U.S. time, came in response to Beijing's latest claim that Seoul committed to limiting the operation of its existing THAAD deployment and to refrain from further expanding the system's operations in the country.
A department spokesperson said that THAAD is a prudent and limited self-defense asset designed to counter North Korea's weapons programs, adding that criticizing South Korea for protecting itself or pressuring Seoul to limit its self-defense is inappropriate.
The official went on to say that the U.S. and South Korea made a joint decision to deploy THAAD in the South strictly as a defensive measure to protect the country and its people from an armed attack and protect the alliance’s military forces from North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile threats.
Pentagon spokesman Martin Meiners also told Voice of America that the U.S. will not discuss specific details or capabilities of THAAD and any decision regarding its future deployment will be a decision agreed upon bilaterally. He added that THAAD is a safe and reliable defensive system stationed on the Korean Peninsula at the South Korean government’s request to deter adversaries and defend its sovereignty against external threats.
Seoul's top diplomat Park Jin earlier countered Beijing's claim, saying that during his talks in China, he made it clear that the so-called "Three Noes" policy on THAAD is not a pledge or an agreement.