Defense Secretary Ash Carter says that the proposed placement of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea is "going to happen" despite Chinese opposition.

Washington and Seoul last month began talks on deploying the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system to combat the threat of North Korean missiles, following a recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch by Pyongyang.

Carter told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York: "It's going to happen. No, it's a necessary thing. It's between us and the South Koreans. It's part of protecting our own forces on the Korean Peninsula and protecting South Korea. It has nothing to do with the Chinese."

Carter was speaking Friday on U.S. defense policy toward the Asia-Pacific ahead of a trip to India and the Philippines.