On March 1, the United States and South Korea began a joint military exercise that is unprecedented in scale and intensity. This strengthens the hand of those North Koreans who want to engage with the USA and South Korea.
The unmanned aircraft is also capable of destroying the war command in Pyongyang, including its leader Kim Jong-un, in case of a war.
Last week, China-pop singer Xie Tianming put out a syrupy music video lament called the “Chant of Love” on the deployment of THAAD to South Korea to defend against the North Korean missile threat.
Different units will run through drills customized to their function in a war scenario. The South Korean government has sympathized with this position as well. Of the 17 million people who visited South Korea previous year, eight million were Chinese, according to data from the Korea Tourism Organization. According to various diplomatic sources and articles in the foreign press on March 13, Trump is planning to invite Xi to his deluxe Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, for a two-day summit on April. 6 and 7.
Rather than enhance South Korea’s security, including by reassuring its citizens, its deployment threatens to make South Koreans more insecure. Japan, which is deeply anxious about a nuclear North Korea, must be persuaded that Washington has a viable strategy.
The drone will be permanently stationed at Kunsan Air Base south of Seoul.
“The Ministry of National Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff ordered all servicemen to raise their monitoring and alertness against North Korea”, said a military official. If it is strongly committed to the deployment of the THAAD, it would ruin its economic ties with China, which demands the cancellation of the system.
Adding to the combustible mix of military tension and the region’s historic rivalries is another factor – uncertainty about USA foreign policy under the Trump administration.
Tillerson’s task will be to ensure that the US under Trump acknowledges China’s core interests of state sovereignty; national security; territorial integrity; national reunification; China’s political system established by the constitution and secured by overall social stability; and basic safeguards for ensuring sustainable economic and social development.
The first elements of the system arrived in South Korea last week.
Alarmed by North Korea’s weapons tests, South Korea and the United States have agreed to deploy THAAD, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system in South Korea.
The pariah nation, which has alarmed its neighbors with two nuclear tests and a string of missile launches since a year ago, said the arrival of the US strike group was part of a “reckless scheme” to attack it.
One South Korean media company’s office was reportedly raided for a safety inspection last week by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), an organization that doesn’t normally oversee the running of private business.
The communist regime fired four extended range Scud rockets into the Sea of Japan.
Encouraged by USA withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Asia Pacific trade agreement signed by the Obama administration, China now sees a window of opportunity to take the lead in East Asia’s economic and diplomatic affairs, and North Korea’s nuclear problem is the window of opportunity for Xi Jinping.
China says the exercises do nothing to ease tension.
But China also regards the new THAAD system in South Korea as a serious strategic threat.