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Beijing looks to Seoul for ally on North Korea

By shelving THAAD dispute, China hopes to counter US hard line

BEIJING/SEOUL -- Beijing is moving to improve relations with Seoul ruptured over the deployment of a controversial missile defense system as it seeks to form a united front against Washington's bellicose approach to the North Korean threat.

Seoul affirmed in an agreement made public Tuesday that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, that the U.S. has deployed in South Korea is not meant to target any third country and poses no threat to China's security interests. With Beijing responding that it had taken note of Seoul's statement, both sides agreed to work toward putting bilateral relations back on track.

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