South Korea sticks to installing THAAD missile defense system

The Chinese and South Korean foreign ministries are exchanging views on the deployment of the US THAAD anti-missile system to South Korea. China opposes the move, but South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is keen to improve the country’s defense capabilities against North Korea. He also wants to reduce our economic dependence on China.

According to information from South Korea union According to the news agency, China opposes South Korea’s deployment of the US-designed Terminal High Altitude Air Defense System (THAAD).at a press conference in July 27th, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said South Korea would be disingenuous if it deployed the THAAD system and asked South Koreans to behave discreetly. He was referring to South Korea’s previous commitment to a “three no” policy against the THAAD system.

The “three no” policy is based on a statement by former President Moon Jae-in. November 2017(1) South Korea will not deploy a new THAAD anti-missile system, (2) will not participate in the US missile defense system, and (3) will not seek a military alliance between South Korea, the US, and Japan.

On July 25, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said the “three no’s” were South Korea’s stated position and not a commitment to China or an agreement reached between the two countries. said it was about South Korea’s national security and sovereignty and that it was up to South Korea to decide what it needed.

On July 28, South Korean officials said the THAAD system was essential to defending the country against North Korea’s escalating nuclear missile provocations. Despite the Chinese Communist government’s intentions, South Korea’s policy is based on this firm position, and the government will continue to communicate with selected countries as necessary.

Origins of the THAAD Controversy

North Korea has repeatedly threatened to launch nuclear weapons.preemptive Nuclear attacks on the United States and South Korea.” From 2009 to 2014, North Korea conducted her two nuclear tests and her three long-range missile tests. In 2015, US experts estimated that the country’s nuclear stockpile was 10-16 Warheads and continued to grow.

Since South Korea has no means of defending against ballistic missile attacks, the United States has proposed deploying the THAAD system to deter North Korean aggression. However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) strongly opposed the move. The CCP argued that THAAD’s radar range is capable of spying on China, which poses a threat to CCP interests.

The Chinese Communist Party’s opposition has put South Korea in a difficult position. South Korea is heavily dependent on the United States for security, and hosts most of it. 30,000 The US military depends on China as a major export market for its economy.

North Korea the 4th South Korea’s then-President Park Geun-hye, who claimed a nuclear test was conducted in January 2016 and claimed it was a hydrogen bomb, said she would consider installing a THAAD system. The United States and South Korea have formally announced their decision to deploy the THAAD system. July that year.

Chinese Communist Party’s retaliation

The Chinese Communist Party reacted angrily to the announcement, immediately launching a series of retaliatory measures against South Korea.

The CCP first targeted the culture and entertainment industry.start from August 2016, the Chinese Communist Party began denying Korean artists permission to perform in China. It also blocked the release of Korean movies and TV shows in China and stopped broadcasting Korean variety shows on video websites.

The following actions targeted the South Korean retail industry. The boycott of South Korean products was fanned by official Chinese media. The first victim was South Korea’s Lotte Group. Hackers paralyzed the company’s website and Chinese online store, 90 percent We were forced to close our stores.

Then, from March 2017, the CCP will travel ban to Korea. The ban started with travel agencies in Beijing and then spread across China.

Since then, the CCP has pursued additional retaliatory measures, but has never acknowledged their planning and execution.The South Korean media learned that the Chinese Communist Party was giving orders orally rather than in writing. Do not know It was a “restriction of Korea” and shrugged off any responsibility.

The Chinese Communist Party’s actions have surprised South Korean residents.ever since 1994South Korea maintains a trade surplus with China, $72.2 billion Largest in the world in 2016. The economic impact of the CCP’s actions on South Korea could be devastating.

In the face of the turmoil brought to South Korea by the Chinese Communist Party, East Asia Daily The media began to collect national pride. In one editorial at the time, he asked, “Where is our country’s dignity if we yield to the Chinese Communist Party’s retaliation for her deployment of the THAAD system?” another outlet, Hankook Ilbothe only way South Korea can stop CCP atrocities is to reduce its dependence on China.

Delay in THAAD deployment

In 2016, after agreeing to install a THAAD system in South Korea, the sudden impeachment of President Park Geun-hye delayed the deployment of the THAAD system. May 2017, Taken by Moon Jae-in He took office as president and announced a moratorium on the THAAD program. After that, his search for a compromise worthy of an agreement between China and the United States stalled. Six months later, President Moon issued a “three no” statement to the Chinese Communist Party, halting his THAAD deployment plans in the country.

During the Moon Jae-in administration, South Korea adhered to pro-communist policies, making the CCP the biggest beneficiary of Park Geun-hye’s impeachment. South Koreans suspect the Chinese Communist Party was behind the accusations that led to Park’s impeachment and conviction on corruption charges.

South Korean Attitude Change

Five years later, when Yoon Suk-yeol was inaugurated as president in March of this year, the revival of THAAD in South Korea began.prior to his electionYun said that for South Korea to withdraw THAAD, the CCP should first remove long-range radars deployed on its own borders.

Yoon also prioritizes efforts to reverse South Korea’s economic dependence on China. For the past 28 years, the country’s exports to China have exceeded its imports. However, this trade surplus is beginning to reverse.According to South Korea Customs service, South Korea’s trade deficit with China reached $1.099 billion in May. In June, the deficit increased to her $1.214 billion. Possibility of exceeding deficit in July $2 billion suggesting that the surplus has really started to reverse. Hanil Ilbo predicts, “We will never return to the era when Korean companies made money in the Chinese market.”

How the United States manages its Indo-Pacific strategy will depend on whether South Korea becomes an ally of China or the United States in the long term. South Korea is geographically vital to this strategy, which seeks to maintain the region’s openness, safety, security and prosperity despite the CCP’s opposing actions.

First proposed by President Donald Trump Indo-Pacific strategy In 2017, it aims to shift the US focus to the region. Since then, the Joe Biden administration has continued this focus, along with Japan, India and Australia. However, South Korea’s loyalty remains unclear.

Against this backdrop, South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has shown its willingness to stand up to the Chinese Communist Party.upon July 29th, the Korean Daily News published an editorial that said the ‘three no’ controversy was a national disgrace. to decide. The CCP does not make decisions for South Korea.

Sean Lynn


Sean Lin is a Chinese expat living in New Zealand. He has been writing for the Epoch Times since his 2009, focusing on China-related topics.

Lisa Bian


Lisa Bian is a Korea-based writer for The Epoch Times, focusing on Korean society, its culture, and international relations.

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