The recent deployment by South Korea of the controversial US-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system in response to potential ballistic threats from North Korea, has led to a furious response by China, whose first-strike ability would be compromised under the existing military configuration. And as BBC reports, “the deployment in South Korea of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system has been slammed by Beijing. Now the Chinese Communist Party is calling on its people to embrace their ill will towards their neighbours” and notes that as anti South-Korea fever sweep China, local school students chant “Boycott Sth Korea!”, and smash South Korean appliances as the “communist Party unleashes anti-Korea spirit.”
However, while eliciting up a traditional nationalistic response by China was to be expected, what is more troubling is that according to the South China Morning Post, China is set to deploy anti-radar countermeasures which will neutralize the South Korean THAAD. The THAAD system consists of a sophisticated radar and interceptor missiles designed to spot and knock out incoming ballistic missiles.
Speaking to retired PLA general Wang Hongguang, the SCMP reports that China knew it might not be able to stop Seoul deploying a US anti-missile system “and was prepared to counter with its own anti-radar equipment.” The comments came as a South Korean court’s decision to uphold the impeachment of former president Park Geun-hye had fanned hopes Seoul might put plans for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system on hold. Park supported the installation of the system to help protect South Korea against threats from North Korea, which Beijing says can peer through China’s defences. However, such a de-escalation does not appear to be imminent.
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