Last year, Kim Jungun, a North Korean top leader, committed a series of attacks that are still having consequences today. To tackle these attacks, South Korea and the U.S. have discussed arranging THAAD in Korea to protect South Korea, but China has voiced strong objections. China has said that if THAAD goes into operation in South Korea, attacks could be made against China. However, THAAD is not an offensive measure, it is for defense purposes; that is, it is designed to defend off missiles by locating an incoming missile and incapacitating it. South Korean experts believe China’s objective to the establishment of THAAD stems from China’s fear that South Korea could detect a missile bound from China to South Korea, so China would fail in an attempt to attack South Korea. For this reason, China has been aggressively retaliating against South Korea in protest. China is now prohibiting its people from traveling to South Korea for sightseeing, and many Chinese, themselves, are now cancelling their travel plans. South Korea’s tourism industry is suffering from huge economic losses, and merchants at major tourist destinations in Korea such as Jeju Island are feeling the result of THAAD consideration greatly. In addition, many Chinese are boycotting Korean products from Lotte and Samsung despite knowing those products to be of excellent quality. With the Lotte group offering its golf course as a THAAD placement site, Chinese perception of Lotte has degraded severely. To solve this conflict, some Korean political experts say that ‘The United States, the axis of the Korea-US alliance, must respond to China through action, not diplomatic investigation.’ South Korea’s new government must act quickly to resolve this problem and ensure peace to stop further harm to Koreans and the economy.
Kim Choi Hyojin firstname.lastname@example.org