August 08, 2017 12:05
Seoul and Beijing will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations on Aug. 24 separately amid severe strain over the stationing of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. here.
The two countries have marked the anniversary every five years since they established formal diplomatic relations in 1992. They celebrated the 15th and 20th anniversaries with joint events.
But this year the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, a Foreign Ministry agency, has told the Korean Embassy it will hold a separate anniversary event on Aug. 23, according to a diplomatic source in Beijing. It has asked the ambassador to make a speech and told the embassy to invite Korean nationals.
The embassy had already decided to throw an anniversary party at a hotel in downtown Beijing on Aug. 24 and mailed out invitations to Chinese guests.
The Chinese announcement came three days after Seoul decided to deploy the full THAAD battery, which has so far only partially been set up.
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