Seoul invites strategic catastrophe as THAAD threats more than Pyongyang

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/8/8 15:33:49 Last Updated: 2016/8/8 15:51:03

The South Korean government is either making a historic misjudgment, or is using it as a weak excuse to state that the deployment of a US anti-missile system could pit Beijing against Pyongyang.

Instead, the decision to deploy the anti-missile system will bring catastrophe to the Korean Peninsula and destroy the hard-won political mutual trust and economic ties between Seoul and its neighbors in Northeast Asia.

Trying to defend an unpopular decision to install the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in Seongju county, southeast of Seoul, a South Korean government spokesman on Sunday called China's criticism unreasonable and shifted the blame to the "nuclear and missile threats" from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

However, Pyongyang's proposals for a halt of military and nuclear activities on both sides have repeatedly met cold rejection from Washington and Seoul, which have stuck to frequent military exercises and flown nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over the Korean Peninsula, in a clear show of hostility against Pyongyang.

Such measures were against the DPRK only. Now with the decision to deploy THAAD, which can snoop vast territories in China and Russia, the United States and South Korea have alienated China and Russia with severe threats to their national security.

It is unmistakably a strategic misjudgment for Seoul to violate the core interests of its two strong neighbors, at the cost of its own security, and only in the interests of American hegemony.

The THAAD deployment is based on shaky grounds as it is incapable of intercepting Pyongyang's short-range missiles, nor can it shield South Korea's most populated city, Seoul, which is far away from Seongju county.

However, the THAAD radar system's strong spying capability means that its location will be among the first targets to be wiped out in case of conflict.

By allowing the United States to deploy THAAD on its soil, the South Korean government has brought more danger than security to its people, and shut the door to peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.

Now facing common threat to their national security imposed by Washington and Seoul, China and Russia, along with other regional countries, will have little choice but come closely together to address the issue.

Some analysts have pointed out that the only beneficiary of turmoil in Northeast Asia is the United States, as it relies on the "necessity" of its military presence in the region to remain a hegemonic global power.

If Seoul and Pyongyang gradually eased tension, Washington's military presence in South Korea would be hard to justify. That is why Washington has often discouraged Seoul from talks with Pyongyang and insisted on war drills.

South Korea needs to draw lessons from the disastrous results of conflicts in the Middle East and correct its strategic mistake of inviting THAAD, before it makes itself a powder keg in Northeast Asia.

The future of the Korean Peninsula lies in the constructive exchanges and common development of regional countries, with a goal of gradual reconciliation between Seoul and Pyongyang. Deploying THAAD is clearly a move toward the opposite direction.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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