Plans by South Korea's leading opposition presidential candidate to buy an additional THAAD U.S. missile system risks economic retaliation from China, his top foreign policy adviser said, but that would provide a chance to "reset" testy diplomatic ties.

Kim Sung-han, who advises Yoon Seok-youl, on foreign policy, also said North Korea is likely to resume weapons testing, but his team aims to devise a roadmap with significant and swift benefits for Pyongyang if it takes concrete actions to denuclearize.

Yoon is the conservative main opposition People Power Party's candidate to run in the March 9 election, and is leading a tight race against Lee Jae-myung from outgoing President Moon Jae-in's party.