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US Missile Defense System In South Korea Poses Problem For Newly Elected Leader As Tension With North Korea & China Rises

by E. K. Encina / May 10, 2017 11:31 AM EDT
Presidential Election In South Korea

The US missile defense system in South Korea is a major roadblock for the country as pressure from China, North Korea and the United States arise. Human rights lawyer Moon Jae-In seems to be winning the country's election.

After garnering over 40 percent of total votes, Moon might soon be officially announced as South Korea's next appointed leader. While some might feel optimistic about the new opportunities that Moon brings to the table, it might prove problematic when it comes to certain scenarios.

This issue has a lot to do with the US missile defense system in South Korea, dubbed the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense(THAAD) that is installed as a countermeasure against North Korean nukes. According to NewsWeek, Moon's leadership will have adverse effects on the relationship between the U.S. and South Korea.

Moon previously mentioned that South Korea should learn how to say no when it comes to cooperating with their American allies. With that said, Moon was also particularly vocal in discussing about loosening their ties with the Trump administration.

It doesn't help that the US missile defense system in South Korea is being brought to light by US President Trump, who even argued that Korea should pay them for the THAAD. According to CNBC, the U.S isn't the country's only problem since tensions between China are rising as well.

China has been a big aid to the country considering that they are an important trading partner after all. The problem between the country and China lies in the US missile defense system in South Korea, which happens to be a threat to the Chinese military.

China is strongly against the THAAD installation in South Korea due to how its perceived as a threat to their naval forces. Moon will now be forced into a situation where he will have to carefully juggle the country's relations with both China and the U.S.

Furthermore, tensions with North Korea will only rise since citizens believe that the US missile defense system in South Korea could provoke Kim Jong-Un to initialize a nuclear strike. "I am expecting things to be bumpier and more tension-filled in U.S-ROK relations.", US-Korea policy program director Scott Snyder added.

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