Tensions rise over Korea’s decision to install the US-led Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) amid increasing nuclear threats from North Korea
Chinese authorities recently refused to allow the import of “massive amounts” of South Korean cosmetics, reports South Korea’s largest news agency Yonhap.
The rejection allegedly arose as a result of China and South Korea’s disagreement over the deployment of the THAAD system – a US anti-ballistic missile system that is designed to shoot down other missiles using a ‘hit-to-kill’ method.
Beijing is said to have disallowed the import of 28 cosmetics, 19 of which were South Korean including Cl Lion shampoo, Aekyung body wash and laso lotion, wrote The Korea Times.
It seems that South Korea is determined to deploy the missile system and become a foot soldier in the US global strategy.
Meanwhile, The Global Times, a state-run news publisher under the People’s Daily newspaper, published an article titled South Korea to antagonize China with THAAD on 7 January, which read: “Department stores in Seoul may be popular among Chinese tourists, however, these tourists haven’t forgotten their identity.
“Chinese people have a clear mind about the situation on the Korean Peninsula and will not sacrifice the national interest for Korean cosmetics if Seoul chooses to side with the US.”
The article also noted: “It seems that South Korea is determined to deploy the missile system and become a foot soldier in the US global strategy. However, its stubbornness on this issue will only bring unaffordable consequences to the country.”
AmorePacific's Hera brand
As a result of the reported import block, South Korean cosmetics companies suffered heavy stock hits, with AmorePacific closing at 293,500 won (US$246) on the Seoul bourse and experiencing a 52-week low.
Similarly, Kolmar Korea also hit a year-low at 59,200won.
Cosmetics are not the only Korean import China is thought to be clamping down on in an effort to retaliate against South Korea’s decision to install THAAD.
China’s government also allegedly told local broadcasters not to air popular Korean TV series and dramas including My Love From Another Star and I Miss You, limiting the airtime of popular South Korean celebrities, some of whom also work as cosmetics brand ambassadors.