Pol­i­tics threat­ens K-pop cul­ture

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

SOUTH Korea’s foreign min­is­ter cau­tioned on Au­gust 6 against es­ca­lat­ing a missile-de­fence row with China that has fu­elled com­bat­ive editorials in Beijing’s state me­dia and an ap­par­ent back­lash against Korean TV and pop stars.

“When­ever dif­fi­cul­ties and chal­lenges arise in South Korea-China re­la­tions ... we should not over-re­act,” Yun Byung-Se said in a briefing to lo­cal re­porters.

The dis­pute has its roots in the an­nounce­ment last month that South Korea would de­ploy a so­phis­ti­cated US anti-missile sys­tem to counter the grow­ing threat from North Korea’s nu­clear weapons pro­gram.

China con­demned the de­ploy­ment of the Ter­mi­nal High Al­ti­tude Area De­fense (THAAD) sys­tem as a move against its own na­tional se­cu­rity in­ter­ests and a threat to re­gional sta­bil­ity.

In a strongly worded editorial pub­lished on Au­gust 4, the Peo­ple’s Daily warned Seoul of the po­ten­tially costly “domino ef­fect” of its de­ci­sion.

In any con­flict be­tween China and the United States, “South Korea will in­evitably be the first tar­get”, the news­pa­per said.

China is South Korea’s largest trad­ing part­ner and ac­counts for one quar­ter of its ex­ports.

It is also a key mar­ket for pop­u­lar South Korean en­ter­tain­ment ex­ports like K-pop and K-dra­mas, which seem to be the ini­tial tar­gets of a gath­er­ing anti-THAAD back­lash in China.

A “fan-meet­ing” sched­uled for this week­end in Beijing with the stars of a pop­u­lar Korean drama se­ries was abruptly can­celled on Au­gust 3.

“They said they have to put off the event in­def­i­nitely for rea­sons that are be­yond their con­trol and they asked for our un­der­stand­ing,” said Lee Hyun-Joo, an of­fi­cial with the Korean com­pany that pro­duced the drama.

An ap­pear­ance by the Korean boy­band Snu­per on a Chi­nese TV mu­sic show was also can­celled at the last minute. –

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