Journalist: Chunmei, Wang Lingyu and Zhong Ying    Designer: Steve Zhao and Xu Jing

Editor's Note

2017 is the 25th year of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and South Korea. However, while China has a diplomatic tradition to celebrate anniversaries of important relations with foreign nations, this year, the anniversary is marred by an unprecedented confrontation between the two countries due to South Korea’s decision to deploy a US made missile defense system-the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD- on its own territory. Although the US and South Korea have justified the deployment of THAAD by citing increasing nuclear threats from North Korea, China is adamantly opposed to the deployment on the ground that it “causes grave damage to the strategic and security interests of neighboring countries such as China and Russia, as well as upsets strategic balance in the region.”

To mark the 2.5 decades of the founding of China-South Korea official relations, Sino-US.com reporters have recently visited Seoul, talking to experts, businessmen, officials as well as media persons who have been working back and forth between South Korea and China, in an effort to uncover what would be the prospect of China-South Korea relations under the shadow of THAAD issue. Also, the reporters have also visited Seongju County in the country’s southern North Gyeongsang Province, where part of the THAAD system is located, trying to present what local residents have been doing during the past one year in fighting against the deployment of THAAD in the country.

Visit to Seongju: One year after it’s chosen as the THAAD deployment site
Visit to Seongju: One year after it’s chosen as the THAAD deployment site
Seongju county where parts of the US-built anti-missile system, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), are now deployed, is around 4 hours’ drive from Seoul, capital of South Korea. Located in North Gyeongsang, a southern province in the country, Seongju county is populated by less than 50,000 residents and had been a serene area specializing in growing Korean melon, or Chamoe, until South Korea and the United States announced to deploy THAAD here on July 13, 2016.
Meet North Korean defector who longs for family reunion
Meet North Korean defector who longs for family reunion
North Korean Lee has lived in South Korea for 11 years. Having built her own family in the South – a South Korean husband and children - Lee now looks like a native of South Korea which is in no way similar to the North, though the people share the same ethnic origin.
One-year on, Seongjue people continue fight against THAAD
One-year on, Seongjue people continue fight against THAAD
July 13, 2017 marked the one-year anniversary of Seoul and Washington’s announcement to deploy the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province of South Korea; it was also the 366th day of protest by Seongju residents against the deployment.
Hundreds of South Koreans mark one year anniversary of fight against THAAD
Hundreds of South Koreans mark one year anniversary of fight against THAAD
Hundreds of residents in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province of South Korea gathered at an open space beside the county office on Wednesday to mark their one-year fight against the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.

Features

South Korean President Moon: A balancing act
South Korean President Moon: A balancing act
While South Korea was still haunted by the political scandal which led to the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye, liberal Moon Jae-in won the presidency with many regarding him as the savior of a country divided by politics.
Ups and downs: 25 years of China-South Korea ties
Ups and downs: 25 years of China-South Korea ties
From a meandering journey to the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1992 to the honeymoon period of bilateral ties in 2015, and then to the confrontation caused by the deployment of a US missile defense system in 2016, the China-South Korea relations has been like a roller coaster in the past 25 years, going up and down, leaving many people wondering whether bilateral ties could finally be put on the healthy track of development.
Candid dialogue key to improving China-South Korea relations
Candid dialogue key to improving China-South Korea relations
While the deployment of a United States-made weapon, the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system on the Korean peninsula has driven the China-South Korea relations to a freezing point over the past one year, a candid dialogue between the two nations will be key to improve the bilateral relations, said Kwak Young-kil, president of Seoul based Aju News Corporation.

A timeline of THAAD issue development in South Korea

The United States Forces Korea (USFK) commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti tells a forum that Washington is considering deploying THAAD in South Korea to counter North Korea's threats.
China's defense minister Chang Wanquan expresses concerns over the possible deployment of the advanced U.S. missile defense system in South Korea during talks with his South Korean counterpart Han Min-koo.
South Korea's presidential office says no decision was made on whether to allow the U.S. to deploy the THAAD battery in South Korea. It added that there was neither request from the U.S. to deploy the system nor consultations between the allies.
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says his country is not ready to begin discussions on the possible deployment of the THAAD system on South Korean soil.
South Korea's defense ministry says that Seoul would join consultations with Washington if the U.S. requests a discussion on the possible deployment of the THAAD system.
North Korea conducts its fourth nuclear test, claiming that it succeeded in detonating a hydrogen bomb.
President Park Geun-hye says in a press conference that her country will review the issue of whether to allow the American forces here to deploy the THAAD system from the perspective of national security and interests.
South Korea and the U.S. officially launch a joint working group to discuss the possible deployment of the THAAD system in the Northeast Asian country.
Chinese President Xi Jinping tells U.S. President Barack Obama during a summit that China is "firmly opposed" to the deployment of a THAAD battery in South Korea, according to China's assistant foreign minister Zheng Zeguang.
Defense Minister Han Min-koo says that South Korea has the clear intention to deploy the THAAD system on its soil during the Asia Security Summit held in Singapore.
South Korea and the U.S. announce the decision to deploy THAAD on South Korean soil.
South Korea's Defense Ministry signed a land swap deal with Lotte Group for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) despite strong oppositions at home and abroad.
Six trailers carrying the THAAD radar, interceptor launchers, communications, and support equipment entered the Seongju site.
Moon Jae In who had shown intention to improve China-South Korea relations during the presidential election campaign became the President of South Korea.
In June 2017 South Korea decided to halt further deployment of THAAD, pending environmental assessment.
North Korea launched a test ICBM capable of reaching Los Angeles. In response, President Moon Jae-in called for deployment of the four remaining THAAD launchers.
To be continued…
Source: Agencies

How the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (Thaad) works

1.The enemy launches a missile 2.The Thaad radar system detects the launch, which is relayed to command and control 3.Thaad command and control instructs the launch of an interceptor missile 4.The interceptor missile is fired at the enemy projectile 5.The enemy projectile is destroyed in the terminal phase of flight 6.The launcher trucks can hold up to eight interceptor missiles.

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