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10 May, 2017 16:09

New Moon over South Korea may doom US THAAD anti-missile system

New Moon over South Korea may doom US THAAD anti-missile system

The alliance between the US and South Korea is expected to stay, but it is time for the new president in Seoul to rethink about how to deal with the THAAD anti-missile system, said Victor Gao from the China National Association of International Studies.

Moon Jae-in, who was sworn in as the new South Korean president, looks ready to forge closer ties in Asia, including with North Korea. America's role in the region could be set to change as well, with Moon emphasizing that South Korea needs to stand its ground when it comes to Washington.

RT:  Should we expect new Seoul-Beijing alliance in the region with a new president?

Victor Gao: First of all, let’s congratulate President Moon for taking office at a very difficult time in South Korea, as well as on the Korean peninsula. As for relations between China and the Republic of Korea, it has been deteriorating mainly because of the US deployment of the THAAD system. And China-ROK economic relations have also taken a beating. Therefore, there is a lot of expectations for President Moon to really change course. First of all, I think we need to wait and see whether President Moon will have enough courage to discontinue the deployment of the THAAD in South Korea. And secondly, whether he will be able to pick up steam and strike for a rapprochement in relations with China and also - to follow the sunshine policy and improve the relations with DPRK. One word, which is very important: we do not want to see the breakout of war on the Korean peninsula; we want to see peace and stability maintained, and we devote our resources and focus on development rather than wars and conflicts.

RT:  Moon’s agenda seems to contradict the American one. Do you think Trump should be worried?

VG: I think the staunch alliance between the US and the Republic of Korea is expected to stay, but that doesn’t mean the deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system in ROK by the US is the right decision. It completely antagonizes China, as well as Russia. And keeping the THAAD system in South Korea will do more harm than any good for the people in South Korea, and eventually, the US is not going to gain anything. Therefore it is time for the new president in Seoul to rethink about how to deal with a THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea … I think the key questions are between North Korea and the United States. Therefore, South Korea is doing the right thing under the leadership of President Moon to position itself in a more conciliatory tone to DPRK through peaceful dialog with each other rather than warmongering.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.