South Korea firms fear Chinese retaliation over THAAD

SEOUL, Aug. 5 (UPI) — Concern over Chinese retaliation in response to the deployment of the U.S. anti-missile defense system THAAD is mounting in South Korea and among South Korean businesses in China.

Several sources told local news service Money Today on Friday they are monitoring the situation for any trade-related restrictions that could be imposed on South Korean businesses because of THAAD.

Beijing has repeatedly voiced its opposition to THAAD deployment, saying the system’s radar could be used in surveillance.

Earlier in the week two sources quoted in the South China Morning Post stated China’s state media regulator was planning a ban on TV shows featuring South Korean celebrities.

Shares in South Korean entertainment firms tumbled on Tuesday because of fears of impending restrictions from China.

The uneasiness over China’s next move is shared among South Korean business representatives across a wide range of industries, according to press reports.

Many South Korean enterprises retain Chinese production bases, and one China-based South Korean representative of a major corporation said Chinese state television station CCTV is rife with news about the impending deployment of THAAD.

The source also said that “it is true” that some goods are “experiencing some delay in clearing customs,” though any joint investment plans that were agreed upon with the Chinese central government are going ahead as planned.

A second source who manages a South Korean electronics-manufacturing firm in the Chinese city of Tianjin said concern is growing over increased challenges of importing goods into China.

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