Clear and Present Danger: North Korea Targets US Base

Chinese reactions to the fast-forwarding of Thaad's arrival in South Korea have been fierily nationalistic. China's tourism ministry instructed tour companies to stop selling trips to South Korea starting March 15. With the impeachment now upheld, the question becomes: Who will replace President Park when new elections are held within 60 days?

Still, there have been rising calls for Korea to move to expand currency swap deals with economic partners as a way to enhance its capability to secure liquidity in case of severe market disruptions.

Moon has criticized the two former conservative presidents - Park and her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak - for derailing the progress made inter-Korean relations during the previous liberal administrations.

As an advanced defence system with expansive radars, THAAD may be will equipped with gadgets to not only keep a tab on the activities of North Korea but also on China.

While Israel's role in this research is not yet clear, Liberman's decision to incorporate North Korea into his discussions in Washington might signal Israel's willingness to expand the scope of its missile defense work to incorporate the needs of America's allies in Asia. "It'll serve Chinese interests best if we step back a bit and give the South a little breathing space to settle their domestic politics". The company in South Korea is expected to be active at the beginning of next year, joining the some 28,500 USA servicemembers stationed in South Korea.

It emerged in February that the South Korean military is training a clandestine task force to assassinate North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, at one of his numerous residences, and also to kill his key military and political aides. It is a collective failure of the global system that the North has not been meaningfully engaged and adjusted into the worldwide mainstream.

A Lotte Mart with nearly no customer in Shanghai, China, Mar. 13.

"The relationship between China and North Korea is similar to that of a mother with a son who doesn't listen", said Akio Takahara, a professor at the University of Tokyo who specializes in Chinese affairs. In terms of security, China simply can not replace the U.S.as a provider of security because it has not demonstrated its ability or willingness to deter North Korea. These provocative tests followed the assassination in Malaysia of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother Kim Jong Nam in February using the deadly nerve agent VX and the disclosure that the North tried to sell nuclear material to global buyers previous year.

Beyond Lotte, other businesses starting to feel pinch, as Chinese government encourages citizens to boycott S. Korean businesses "The nature of our business is such that we still have our regulars coming in, but we're not getting any new customers anymore". "It is a matter of personal freedom whether or not Chinese tourists go to South Korea". One enduring topic is the utility of the US-ROK alliance in the modern era, and whether it does more harm than good in terms of providing peace on the Peninsula.

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South Korea's largest city, Seoul, a city of 11 million people, is only 35 miles away from the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the world's most heavily fortified border. And finally there's the China factor, which suggests that the current policy of antagonizing the Middle Kingdom is making the South less prosperous as well.

"What we're seeing play out now is a manifestation of the democratic process in South Korea".

Without taking a side as to whether these statements are actually true, taken together they will make for a convincing argument for a return to liberal rule in two months, especially when most of the dissenting voices are politically tainted due to the Park scandal. When that happens, the fate of the THAAD will serve as a barometer of just how serious the new government is about its strategic rebalancing. 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. It could also be the death knell of the U.S. treaty system in East Asia, at least in its current form.

  • Joanne Flowers