Diplomatic row over THAAD missile system continues

Yesterday, the diplomatic standoff between South Korea and China over the US high-altitude missile defense systems Ara Defense (Thaad) continued. A spokesperson for the South Korean office stated that THAAD is a self-defense system, which is why it cannot be the subject of negotiations with third countries. The official referred to China, which in recent weeks has repeatedly called on Seoul to honor the unofficial commitment not to increase the presence of US anti-missile systems that former President Moon Jae-in made toward Beijing. Earlier this week, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that President Yoon’s administration does not intend to comply with the “three-nos” policy that the two countries agreed on in 2017: Based on the agreement, Seoul pledged not to deploy other anti-missile batteries On its territory, not to participate in ballistic weapons development projects with the United States, and not to establish a formal military alliance with the participation of Japan.

His counterpart, Wang Yi, received South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin on Tuesday in Qingdao, China, with whom he discussed dialogue for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the restoration of the export of cultural products. Republic. The meeting took place at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and China, with Park trying to reassure Beijing about South Korea’s neutral stance. Indeed, Wang stressed that the two countries should “remain independent and free from obstacles. and external influences”, while respecting major issues of national interest. “We must adhere to a ‘win-win’ attitude that protects stable manufacturing and supply chains, without interfering in others’ internal affairs,” said the head of diplomacy in Beijing, naturally referring to the burning Taiwan dossier.

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For his part, Park reiterated that South Korea’s stance on the “one-China” policy remains valid, but stressed that maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is essential to regional prosperity and security. The South Korean minister also called on China to play a “constructive” role in persuading North Korea to choose the path of dialogue rather than the path of provocation, at a stage when the new South Korean administration led by President Yoon Sok-yeol intends to relaunch it. Denuclearization talks, which have been on hold since 2019. However, the resumption of cultural exchange between the two countries was also on the agenda, after South Korean music, films and video games were banned in China in protest of South Korea’s presence in South Korea. US THAAD missile system.

China’s opposition to the deployment of other batteries of the American anti-missile defense system Termina (THAAD) on the territory of South Korea has nothing to do with the country, but “with the bad intentions of the United States, which they want to endanger the strategic security of the People’s Republic.” The spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Minister, Zhao Lijian, said at the end of last month in response to remarks on the matter made on July 25 by Seoul’s diplomate, Park Jin. Zhao noted that in 2017, former South Korean President Moon Jae-in reached a three-point agreement with China that also included an informal commitment not to further strengthen the US missile deterrent in South Korea, in exchange for the lifting of imposed economic sanctions. by China in the country. The agreement specifically included a commitment by Seoul not to expand anti-ballistic missile systems, not to join a US regional missile defense system, and not to establish a military alliance with the US and Japan. “New officials cannot ignore previous commitments,” Zhao warned, urging South Korea to “act with caution” and “search for basic solutions.”

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