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Carrefour's stores in Beijing halt purchase of Korean dairy products

French retailer Carrefour's 12 stores in the Chinese capital of Beijing appears to have halted their purchase of South Korean dairy products, two officials at local distributors of the Korean goods said Monday. 

The reason why the Carrefour stores in Beijing have suspended their purchase of Korean dairy products is unknown, but it came as China is stepping up its retaliatory measures against South Korea's decision to install an advanced U.S. missile defense system, or THAAD.

This undated Yonhap News TV image shows the national flags of South Korea and China against the background of the THAAD anti-missile system (Yonhap)
This undated Yonhap News TV image shows the national flags of South Korea and China against the background of the THAAD anti-missile system (Yonhap)

An official at a local distributor said, "We received a notification from a Carrefour official that (Carrefour) won't receive deliveries of Korean dairy goods, including milk." 

The Carrefour official did not elaborate, but the measure was taken after an "order from above." 

An official at another local distributor said Carrefour's stores in Beijing may halt purchases of other South Korean goods, including dairy products. 

China has reportedly banned its tourism agencies from selling tour packages to South Korea since the deployment of the THAAD was confirmed in November last year. 

South Korean companies, including Lotte, have seen their business conditions in China deteriorate due to Beijing's inspections against them. 

For South Korea, the decision to adopt the U.S. missile system was based on its national security interests to enhance its defense posture against North Korea's advances in nuclear and missile programs. 

Russia and China have long voiced opposition to the deployment of a THAAD battery to South Korea, claiming that the U.S. missile shield may undermine the strategic balance in the region. 

South Korea and the U.S. have dismissed the concerns, saying the THAAD system is defensive in nature and would only target North Korea. (Yonhap)

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