China bans selling of all tourist packages to South Korea
The order from the Chinese National Tourism Administration immediately affects Beijing-area tourist agencies.
Wang Ki-young of South Korea's Culture Ministry told the Financial Times on Friday the ban on tourist sales is expected to be expanded to other Chinese provinces.
The order says that all group tours, organized by Beijing-area agencies, departing China for South Korea after March 15 must be canceled.
The action is regarded as retaliation against South Korea for its planned deployment of a high-tech, U.S.-built anti-missile defense system, known as Terminal High Altitude Defense Area, or THAAD, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.
China said installation of the system undermines security in East Asia and that THAAD radar could easily intercept signals pertinent to Chinese military developments.
The United States and South Korea insist that installation of the system is aimed exclusively at North Korea. ■