SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea is mulling countermeasures in response to suspicions that China is retaliating against the decision reached with the United States to deploy an advanced anti-missile defense system on its soil, a diplomatic source said Monday.
In July, South Korea and the U.S. announced a plan to station a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery aimed at defending against growing missile threats from North Korea. China has argued that its strong radar system could hurt its strategic security interest.
Complaints have been growing here that China is taking retaliatory steps, such as putting restrictions on South Korean imports, with Korean pop culture also becoming a major target of regulators even though the Chinese government has denied any involvement.
“Relevant ministries and agencies are analyzing China’s actions,” the source said on condition of anonymity. “Countermeasures are being examined in a diverse manner.”
The source added that the government could take steps “in a proactive manner” if necessary.
Media reports claimed China has banned South Korean hallyu stars from appearing on its TV shows and rejected a request by airline companies to operate planes bound for South Korea. Beijing has also reportedly decided not to provide state subsidies to cars equipped with Korean-made batteries.
In a meeting with South Korean reporters in Beijing last month, a Chinese official handling Korean affairs denied any state involvement in such measures.
Despite such claims, the Seoul government sees Beijing engaged in veiled retaliation for the THAAD deployment.