The South Korean government held an “emergency meeting” on Tuesday in response to China’s enforcement of new trade barriers, following Seoul’s decision to jointly deploy a U. S. missile defense system on the peninsula.
According to Seoul’s trade ministry, for the first time government officials met with business executives representing the automobile, tourism and cosmetics industries to discuss challenges and countermeasures, local news service EDaily reported Tuesday.
South Koreans have grown concerned Beijing may have been boycotting K-Pop artists and Korean companies in China.
South Korean airlines, including Asiana and Jeju Air, have not been allowed to dispatch charter flights to and from China, and electric carmakers that use Samsung or LG batteries have been excluded from Chinese government subsidies, according to the report.
China has also banned the import of 28 cosmetic products, and 19 of them are of South Korean origin.
South Korean Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho had said at a separate meeting on Sunday that Seoul has noticed “trade problems with China are surfacing in various ways. ”
“We will do our best to communicate and persuade through various economic cooperation channels between Korea and China… [and] actively deal with trade disputes with China that are against international norms,” Yoo said.
The U. S. missile defense system THAAD is being deployed on the Korean peninsula because of North Korea provocations that have included dozens of ballistic missile tests in 2016.
Seoul is also guarding against North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and is considering the acquisition of 12 maritime helicopters to have ready for deployment by 2023, News 1 reported Tuesday.
Models under consideration include the AgustaWestland’s AW-159, the MH-60R Seahawk, and NHIndustries’ NH-90.
South Korea’s acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said Tuesday Seoul continues to support sanctions to pressure Pyongyang on weapons, but also to encourage North Korea to change its policy, Yonhap reported on Tuesday.
Hwang made the remarks to a gathering of top diplomats in Seoul, including outgoing U. S. Ambassador Mark Lippert, according to the report.