China may be turning to diplomacy to fight THAAD in South Korea

May 17, 2017


China may be taking steps to coax Seoul to rethink the deployment of THAAD, the U.S. missile defense system that is already operational in central South Korea.

The Chinese website of Lotte Mart, a retailer belonging to the same South Korean firm that owns the golf course where THAAD is deployed, was up and running after an unexpected shutdown suspended all online commerce in March, Yonhap reported Tuesday.

The resumption of online activity after weeks of suspected sanctions follows South Korea’s presidential elections and a meeting between South Korean and Chinese officials on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.

Dozens of Lotte Mart outlets, however, remain closed, according to the report.

Seoul’s Moon Jae-in said the accelerated deployment of THAAD would come under review during his presidency, a proposal that China welcomes because of its strong opposition to THAAD and its surveillance capabilities.

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