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Friday, 03 February 2017 - 10:30
US new defense chief visits S. Korea, confirms commitment to disputed THAAD deployment
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Seoul and Washington agreed to deploy the THAAD system in South Korea's Seongju County amid growing tensions in the region spurred by North Korea's ballistic and nuclear tests.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis clarified that the deployment is in no way an affront on China, saying that the "only reason" this matter under discussion is "North Korea's activities."

When asked what strategy the Trump administration will take on the North Korea issue, Mattis made clear that his first visit will focus on speaking with South Korean leaders, so that he may gather their "appreciation of the situation" before any formal statement scan be made on the subject.

Mattis’ visit to South Korea marks his first overseas as Secretary of Defense, and comes amid brewing tensions in the Korean Peninsula over the recent months.
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