Sputnik News – August 3, 2017
When liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office in May, Chinese leadership likely breathed a sigh of relief, as he announced a forestalling of the THAAD deployment for up to 15 months while the South Korean government undertook an environmental impact analysis of the system. Two of the six platforms had already been rolled out and Moon lacked the authority to suspend or dismantle them — but he could stall for time on the rest.
But after North Korea tested what many are calling an intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday, July 28, Moon changed his mind and gave the US the go-ahead to continue the THAAD roll-out by installing the four other platforms. Beijing responded by summoning South Korean Ambassador to China Kim Jang-Soo to protest Seoul’s decision.
“The Chinese Foreign Ministry, ahead of protesting North Korea’s missile launch, summoned Ambassador Kim right after South Korea announced the deployment of the THAAD launchers, as if they had been on standby,” an anonymous source told Korean newspaper JoonAng Ilbo. “This demonstrates what China prioritizes.”