South Korea may get friendly with its nuclear-armed neighbor

Ingram Pinn's illustration of the week:

THAAD is aggressive as it boosts arms race and breaks regional strategic balance.

The Six-Party Talks also served to sit Beijing and Washington on the same table on a regular basis and to discuss a key concern for both of them. One side's safety becomes another's vulnerability.

Thaad, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is a reiteration of this problem known as a "security dilemma".

SEOUL-The liberal politician expected to succeed disgraced Park Geun-hye as South Korea's next president could significantly soften Seoul's stance toward North Korea and possibly delay deployment of a US missile-defense system that has enraged China.

Other U.S. strategic assets to be brought to the drill would be F-35B stealth fighter jets that were deployed in the U.S. military base in Japan in January.

Thornton noted, however, that Washington will not announce any new sanctions against North Korea over its continuing ballistic missile tests during the Tillerson's tour to Asia.

Seoul does not have firm evidence that China has retaliated against it for deploying a United States missile defence system, so no action has been taken against Beijing, South Korea's Finance Minister said yesterday. Together with the AN/TPY-2 radars already in position in Japan, Thaad is seen by Beijing as an American containment of expanding Chinese military muscle.

In another incident, more than 3,400 passengers who arrived in the port of Jeju on a cruise ship on Saturday allegedly refused to disembark as a form of protest against South Korea. South Korea has yet to restore the wartime operation control of its troops from the US, a legacy from the 1950-53 Korean War. During his trip, therefore, Tillerson is expected to put as much pressure on China as it can stand, even going so far as to mention the possibility of a secondary boycott, which would involve sanctioning companies in China and other countries that do business with North Korea.

Yue Gang, a military commentator and former People's Liberation Army colonel, said China could either destroy THAAD or neutralise it. If these new weapons come into play, Japan would be compelled to respond in kind to restore a balance of firepower.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to make his first visit to South Korea on Friday.

A South Korean animal rights group has filed a complaint with police against former president Park Geun-hye for abandoning nine pet dogs in the presidential Blue House after being dismissed from office.

China has called on North Korea to suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the US and South Korea halting joint military exercises in South Korea. -South Korea alliance has always been evolving and that the two countries were able to mitigate and manage disputes as they occurred.

"I think he's here basically to show the flag, demonstrate to the allies in the region that America has their back and try to lobby China to intervene in ways that would be helpful in getting Pyongyang to ratchet down its nuclear testing program", he said.

"I believe Tillerson wants to achieve a greater unity of the U.S. allies in front of the North Korean nuclear programme which is advancing faster than anybody has ever expected", said Andrei Lankov, professor of Korean studies at Kookmin University in Seoul. There are over 120 large-scale Lotte super marts across China and over 2000 South Korean companies in Shandong. However, the Trump administration began its placement in early March.

In fact, China and Russian Federation believe that its placement is part of a larger American plan to establish a fence of anti-missile systems around them. In return, the USA is blaming Russian Federation for reneging on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by secretly testing prohibited cruise missiles. But the prospects of a settlement are comparatively better because of the political openness between Mr Trump and Mr Putin.

In this light, the political symbolism is greater than the military utility.