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S. Korea may find itself on 'front line of new Cold War' if it joins U.S.-led, anti-China alliance: adviser

All News 17:11 October 29, 2020

YESAN, South Korea, Oct. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea could be placed onto the "front line of a new Cold War" should it join a U.S.-centric alliance architecture against China, a special security adviser to President Moon Jae-in said Thursday.

Moon Chung-in made the remarks during a forum on security, two days after he warned that if the United States forces South Korea to join a collective defense mechanism against China, it would pose an "existential dilemma" to Seoul as Beijing could "treat us as an enemy."

The U.S. has recently shown its desire to expand the Quad forum involving Australia, Japan and India into a broader security architecture as part of efforts to keep an increasingly assertive China in check.

"If South Korea partakes in the U.S.-centric alliance targeting China, it could stand on the front line of a new Cold War era," Moon said during the Pan Yellow Sea Forum in Yesan, 134 kilometers south of Seoul.

"If the U.S. deploys additional THAAD batteries to South Korea, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles targeting China, China would think of us as antagonistic," he added, referring to the U.S. missile defense system, called the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense.

This photo, taken on Oct. 27, 2020, shows Moon Chung-in, a presidential security adviser, speaking during a peace forum in Seoul. (Yonhap)

This photo, taken on Oct. 27, 2020, shows Moon Chung-in, a presidential security adviser, speaking during a peace forum in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The adviser then said the military move against China could trigger Chinese actions such as aiming its Dongfeng ballistic missiles at South Korea and sending its fighters to frequently enter Korea's air defense identification zone.

Moon also voiced frustration over the deadlocked nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang, while noting a series of concessions or steps the North has made to move forward the negotiations.

"For North Korea, nuclear weapons are the only card for its survival, but it first demolished the nuclear testing site in Punggye-ri and expressed its willingness to give up all nuclear facilities and even a research center at Yongbyon. But the U.S. did not accept it," Moon said.

"When the North has shown all of its cards, the U.S. demands the North first give up all when it did not change course ... This lacks cogency," he added.

Touching on South Korea's push to secure more strategic military weapons systems, such as a light aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine, the security adviser said the move for the sake of peace could lead to an arms race in Northeast Asia.


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