situation report

China, South Korea: Countries Hold First Strategic Defense Dialogue Since 2014

1 MIN READOct 21, 2019 | 16:48 GMT

What Happened: China and South Korea resumed a vice ministerial-level strategic defense dialogue that had been on hold since 2014, The Korea Times reported Oct. 20.

Why It Matters: The meeting in Beijing came amid heightened diplomatic pressure on South Korea by an ongoing trade spat with Japan and a cost-sharing dispute with the United States. China is seeking to improve relations with South Korea by exploiting emerging cracks in the U.S.-led regional security structure.

Background: China and South Korea held the annual defense talks between 2011 and 2014 until they were suspended following Seoul's decision to allow a deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system to deter against North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

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