S. Korean Lotte's land swap for THAAD will cost it heavily

China Military
Huang Panyue

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (ChinaMil) -- "The deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) will be fast-tracked," South Korea's KBS TV station February 26 quoted someone from the Korean Defense Ministry.

The report said that South Korea's Lotte Group unit will hold a board meeting on February 27 and officially swap its Sky Hill Golf Course, located just outside Seongju county, to the military for the deployment of THAAD. Lotte and the Defense Ministry will sign relevant agreement on February 28.

The debate about the land for THAAD deployment will come to an end, said the report. Meanwhile, "China's upgraded ban of South Korean entertaining performances" has also drawn the attention of South Korean media, which claimed that Chinese websites have stopped updating video clips of South Korean dramas and shows.

South Korea's MBC TV station February 26 expressed its concern that China's retaliatory measure against THAAD may be upgraded.

After banning all advertisements and variety shows with South Korean pop stars, the Chinese government recently demanded all websites to stop updating video clips of South Korean dramas and shows.

It is reported that according to South Korean sources in China, all Chinese network platforms stopped updating South Korean programs on February 24 in reprisal against the South Korean government's decision to deploy the U.S.-made THAAD missiles system.

People in the South Korean entertainment circle are worried. Previously local TV stations across China have stopped airing South Korean TV shows from Sept. 1, 2016, and banned all South Korean performers, now online video clips are targeted too. The South Korean entertainment industry is set to suffer growing losses.

Yonhap News Agency reported February 26 that many Chinese media, including Global Times and Xinhua News Agency, warned about Lotte's land swap. "The continuous opposition from China is still making Lotte unnerved".

South Korea's JoongAng Ilbo published a commentary on February 25, saying that "security president" has become a hot topic in the South Korean political circle recently, and that in face of the nuclear missile threat from Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), security issue seems to become the main topic in the upcoming South Korean presidential election.

Conservative presidential candidates all called themselves "security presidents" and made all kinds of policy commitments, including accelerating or increasing THAAD deployment, increasing military expenditure, completing South Korea's missile defense system as soon as possible, and continuing to develop and introduce cutting-edge weapons.

Some even proposed to levy "security tax" on all residents and develop nuclear weapons independently. But none of those people have the wisdom and security concept to be a real "security president".

Since the DPRK nuclear issue cannot be solved in the short term, South Korea cannot solve its problems simply by taking security measures. Its future leader should be wise enough to take a comprehensive view of security, economic, livelihood and other issues altogether.

At present, all government departments shout national interests as a slogan, but they all have their own objectives. A typical example is that the dominant military in South Korea has not only cut off the relations between Republic of Korea (ROK) and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), but also thrown the China-Korea relations into a freezing point.

Seoul Economic Daily February 26 published a commentary written by Kim Heung-gyu, head of the China Policy Institute at Ajou University, which said that the Park Geun-hye government's arbitrary actions infuriated the South Korean society.

But the fact that many politicians brazenly talk about national security as the presidential election draws near is even more worrying, while they never bother to explain to the South Korean people the THAAD issue that may bring about profound impacts on the destiny and position of their country.

Nowadays the US-centered international order is going through substantial changes. The whole Asia Pacific region is worried about how to choose between China and the US, and mid-level countries like South Korea should really act with great caution.



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