By Joanna Chiu, with Thomas Watkins in Washington
China demanded on Tuesday an immediate halt to a controversial US missile shield hours after Washington announced that the defence system was now operational in South Korea.
Washington and Seoul agreed to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery deployment in July in the wake of a string of North Korean missile tests.
But its deployment has infuriated China, which fears it will weaken its own ballistic missile capabilities and says it upsets the regional security balance.
"We oppose the deployment of the THAAD system in (South Korea) and urge relevant sides to immediately stop the deployment. We will firmly take necessary measures to uphold our interests," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.
While Beijing lashed out at the shield's deployment, the foreign ministry expressed support for US President Donald Trump's surprise comments that he would be "honored" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un under the right conditions.
"If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him I would, absolutely. I would be honored to do it," Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Asked about Trump's remarks, Geng said that China "has always believed that dialogue and consultation... is the only realistic and viable way to achieve denuclearisation."
"We also said many times that the US and DPRK... should make political decisions at an early date, take action and show good faith so that we can create a better atmosphere for resuming the peace talks and settling the issue," he added.
Read the full story at SpaceDaily