Go to contents

THAAD deployment is none of China’s business

Posted November. 28, 2014 08:58,   


China’s ambassador to Korea told Korean National Assembly members on Wednesday that if the U.S. deploys Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in Korea, it would have a negative impact on Korea-China relations. Although THAAD is being discussed as a defense against North Korea’s nuclear program and missiles, the Korean and U.S. governments have not had official discussions related to its deployment. The Chinese ambassador, who naturally knows this, openly objected, saying that THAAD looks more targeted at China than North Korea. It goes against diplomatic protocol and even appears to be hinting at intervening in Korean policies, and is highly offensive.

Twelve members of the ruling and opposition parties in Korea heard his remark, but none of them refuted his claim. If they represent the people of Korea, they should have urged him to respect the nation he is serving in. Won Hye-yeong, chief of a special committee on inter-Korean relations of the National Assembly, held a news conference and volunteered to deliver his comment. Although there have been voices raised in concern over THAAD by the Chinese government, this is the first time an open objection like this has been made. Due to the Chinese ambassador’s comment, China’s objection against the THAAD system could escalate.

North Korea has threatened a nuclear attack against the South’s presidential office after the United Nations adopted the human rights resolution regarding North Korea. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Combined Forces commander, said he believed North Korea has recently become capable of making small nuclear warheads. Amid the nuclear threat from North Korea, South Korea must make the choice as a sovereign nation to build the optimum missile defense system for its survival and security. It is not a matter China can meddle in. On the contrary, China should regret that it has not fulfilled its role as the six-party talks chair until now and left the North Korean nuclear threat build up.

China insists the THAAD system has no effect in the North`s missile defense and instead threatens China, but that is an exaggeration. THAAD has been developed as a preparation against short-range missiles including scud missiles, not as a military retribution against China. Moreover, China of late has signed with Russia an agreement to purchase S400, a land-to-air missile with a 400-km range. Beefing up its own missile defense network while picking fault with neighboring nations’ missile defense efforts does not appear to be the “mature China-ROK strategic cooperative partnership,” which Chinese President Xi Jinping has emphasized.