On Tuesday, South Korea and China agreed to work smoothly to get their relations back on track after a year-long standoff because of the deployment of a US anti-missile system in South Korea punched South Korean business interests in China. The installation of US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system had extremely infuriated China and spilled over into trade, tourism and also cultural relations with South Korea.
South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that “Both sides shared the view that the strengthening of exchange and cooperation between Korea and China serves their common interests and agreed to expeditiously bring exchange and cooperation in all areas back on a normal development track”. The South Korea’s presidential office said that South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in will also meet with China’s President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of forthcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries in Vietnam on 10-11 November. A senior South Korean presidential Blue House official told reporters that the two heads are expected to discuss North Korea’s missile, nuclear program and new ways to develop the relationship.
The Blue House official added that the recent fallout in relations between China and North Korea might have played an important role in Tuesday’s agreement. On Tuesday, the head of NATO requested all United Nation members to wholly and transparently execute sanctions against North Korea, which he described that has emerged as a global threat able to fire ballistic missiles as far as Europe and North America. “North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear tests are an affront to the United Nations Security Council,” said North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Tokyo. Talking about the statement coordinated with South Korea’s announcement, China’s foreign ministry said that the two countries would get their relations like before “at an early date”.
The China’s foreign ministry said that South Korea recognized China’s concerns on the THAAD issue and also cleared the deployment was never aimed at any third country and didn’t harm China’s strategic security interests. Saying that the improvements for the South Korean companies would come slowly, the Blue House official said that “China repeated this stance during discussions, saying difficulties faced by South Korean companies were prompted by individual Chinese citizens angered by the THAAD deployment”. The South Korean tourism and retail shares saw a fine comeback as Lotte Tour developing more than 18 percent and Lotte Shopping goes up as much as 5.7 percent. On the other hand, the shares of Asiana Airlines also increased as much as 4.6 percent.
Prior this month, China and South Korea agreed to recommence a $56 billion currency swap agreement, whereas Chinese airlines reportedly considering to restore flight routes to South Korea, which had been closed following the dispute.