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US adds pressure on S Korea to join anti-China coalition

Frank Smith
Press TV, Seoul

US Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, visited Seoul this week to meet with her South Korean counterparts, to discuss North Korea, China and other issues. She stressed what she sees as the two states’ mutual concerns in remarks also aimed at Beijing.

South Korea has tried to balance its relations between China, now its largest trading partner, and the US, its security guarantor. And Seoul recognizes it needs the US if it wants progress on peace with North Korea.

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman once again voiced Washington’s desire to bring North Korea to the negotiating table and support for inter-Korean engagement - issues of primary importance to the South Korean administration of Moon Jae-in. But that support may come with strings attached, as the US seeks the backing of its Asian allies in its ongoing crisis with China.

Joining the US containment strategy against China might be costly for South Korea, say experts. Large demonstrations against the deployment of the American anti missile defense system THAAD erupted when it was deployed in 2017. China then slapped South Korea with heavy economic sanctions over hosting the US missile shield.

Sherman will next visit Mongolia and then China, for just the second high-level meeting between American and Chinese officials since US President Joe Biden took office.

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