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South Korea, China End Confrontation, Prepare Summit

Oct. 31, 2017 (EIRNS)—South Korea and China took a dramatic step Monday to end the conflict which has increased tensions between them since former President Park Geun-hye, under pressure from Obama, allowed the United States to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in the country, giving the United States radar capacity deep into Chinese territory. Although there were never formal sanctions imposed, there was a drastic cutback in tourism and investment into South Korea, and an unofficial boycott of Korean business within China, affecting Hyundai, Lotte, and others.

South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha yesterday announced three measures, which appear to have been pre-arranged between Beijing and Seoul, aimed at restoring relations. They include: South Korea would not pursue additional THAAD missile system deployments (without agreeing to remove the existing system); pronouncing that South Korea will not be part of the unified U.S. anti-ballistic missile system; and that there will be no trilateral military alliance between the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

Kang added: "I believe these measures will allow us to overcome difficulties in our relationship and quickly enter a normalization track." She said that preparations were under way for a bilateral summit at APEC, and that plans for President Moon Jae-in to visit China within the year were also in the works.

Also, the new South Korean and Chinese senior representatives to the Six-Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue are meeting for the first time today in Beijing.