CHINA TOPIX

Updated 6:02 PM EDT, Wed, Apr 01, 2020

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China to Completely Ban K-Pop and Korean Entertainment in Retaliation for THAAD

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(Photo : Getty Images) EXO, one of the most popular K-Pop boy bands in China.

China will completely ban all South Korean K-Pop artists and other entertainers from performing in China as one of its retaliatory measures for Seoul's decision to deploy the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system on its soil starting in May.

Seoul has announced the definite deployment of the first THAAD battery on a golf course at the southern county of Seongju, 296 kilometers southeast of Seoul. A second THAAD battery will also to be deployed, but the location has yet to be announced.

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Seoul, however, said it's close to completing the land exchange with Lotte (the South Korean-Japanese conglomerate with over 60 businesses), which owns the golf course in Seongju where THAAD will be deployed.

A de facto ban on South Korean entertainers has been in place since late 2016, however.  South Korean entertainers began getting the cold shoulder after August 2016 when the South Korean government approved the deployment of THAAD.

South Korean media are reporting K-Pop and other Korean entertainers are now mysteriously banned from entering China to perform.

In addition, Korean TV shows, K-dramas and films have been blocked, and Korean actors replaced by Chinese stars in advertising campaigns.

"No Korean entertainer has obtained Beijing's permission to perform in the neighboring country since October," said The Korea Times.

South Korea's determination to emplace THAAD as its primary means of defense against North Korean ballistic missiles was recently underscored when acting South Korean President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said THAAD has to be deployed to South Korea as soon as possible to counter North Korea's persistent nuclear and missile threats.

"For security, (we) have to deploy (THAAD)," said Hwang. "As we cannot wait even for a moment to cope with North Korea's nuclear provocations, we have to do what we can do first."

In another desperate move to get Seoul to ditch THAAD, China's foreign ministry on Dec. 5 issued a statement on THAAD's deployment in South Korea.

Beijing said "China is against the enforcement of THAAD that would incur losses for China's strategic security."

In another effort, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed the communist government's opposition to the deployment of THAAD on the Korean peninsula during a meeting with South Korea opposition party lawmakers in Beijing on Dec. 4.

South Korean media said apart from boycotting all K-Pop and other Korean entertainers, China will also boycott Korean companies operating in China.

It said that Rep. Song Young-gil of South Korea's Minjoo Party, who met with Wang, said there was a "tacit understanding" between the two sides that the boycott against K-Pop artists was a response to South Korea's decision to deploy THAAD.

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