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China Backlash Over U.S. Missile Shield Puts North Asia on Edge

  • South Korea finds itself target of China criticism over move
  • Beijing fears mini-NATO trilateral alliance in region
South Korean town residents shouts slogans protesting a plan to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, in their neighborhood, in Seoul, South Korea. The missile system will be deployed in southeastern South Korea, Seoul officials announced Wednesday, July 13, angering not only North Korea and China but also local residents who fear potential health hazards they believe the U.S. system might cause. The letters read "Desperately oppose, Deployment THAAD."
Photographer: NurPhoto via Getty Images
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South Korean President Park Geun Hye has discovered first hand the feeling of getting the cold shoulder from China.

Under the fluent Mandarin speaker’s watch, South Korea had seen improved ties with China, drawn together in part by concern about Japan’s wartime past and the military ambitions of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Park was the only leader of a U.S. ally to attend a military parade in China last year for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.