And while the president mentioned the THAAD
deployment schedule, he pointed out that the process was accelerated for some unknown reason,…
hinting at the justification for his administration’s decision to conduct an environmental assessment
test of the U.S. missile defense system. On that note,… the Trump administration’s
top diplomat told his South Korean counterpart during telephone talks… that Washington
respects Seoul’s decision to bring in the system in a way that’s above board and satisfactory
to the South Korean people. Park Jong-hong has the details. The top U.S. diplomat acknowledged the currently
suspended deployment of THAAD as a “democratic process”. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the
remark in response to South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha who explained that
the delay is not intended as a full stop in the deployment,… but rather an internal
measure to satisfy a domestic demand. She said there’s a call in South Korea to
install the THAAD system legitimately and transparently. Tillerson’s response is seen as an understanding
of the temporary suspension aimed at reviewing the system’s environmental impact,… which
initially raised speculation Seoul might be considering suspending or scrapping the deployment. Their phone conversation comes ahead of the
first meeting between Presidents Moon and Trump next week… and the two diplomats agreed
to meet prior to the summit to make final preparations. Kang was quoted as saying that the two leaders
are pragmatic and will have “chemistry”. Tillerson responded that President Trump is
looking forward to President Moon’s visit, calling for close communication between the
two at anytime deemed necessary. Park Jong-hong, Arirang News.