It could be a first -- the Army's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile interceptor system made by Lockheed Martin now has a made-in-China protest song devoted to it.
Last week, China-pop singer Xie Tianming put out a syrupy music video lament called the "Chant of Love" on the deployment of THAAD to South Korea to defend against the North Korean missile threat.
The video, first reported by the Quartz news site, went viral on the WeChat site and apparently has been picked up by anti-government protesters in South Korea who have been singing against THAAD at rallies.
Singer Xie also used his song to call for a boycott of South Korea's Lotte retail giant. Lotte owned the golf course south of Seoul where THAAD will be deployed and could possibly go operational as early as next month, according to South Korean military officials.
The U.S. and South Korea have stressed that THAAD is a defensive system, but China has charged that the system's powerful radars could be used to track Chinese weapons systems and upset the balance of power in the region.
Here are some of the lyrics from the 'Chant of Love:"
"America wants to deploy THAAD in Korea
They can spy on more than half of China
Lotte makes good money in China
And is providing land to America
Chinese sons and daughters must stand up
The country can only exist if it is safe
Everybody, stop buying Lotte products
Make them get out of China fast."
The THAAD deployment will top the agenda for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's trip this week to Japan, South Korea and China. The media-averse Tillerson was traveling without the usual State Department press contingent aboard his plane. Reporters will be attempting to catch up with him on commercial flights.
A South Korean government official said Monday that the visit of Tillerson, who was expected to arrive in Seoul on Friday, will provide an opportunity for South Korea to discuss the nuclear threat from North Korea, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
"With a policy review on North Korea underway in Washington, the visit will give us a good opportunity to share our diverse experiences on the North that we have accumulated for decades and provide our input," said the government official, who spoke on grounds of anonymity.
South Korea's government currently is in turmoil over the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye in a corruption scandal. Elections to replace Park must be held in May and the current frontrunner was considered to be Moon Jae-in of the Democratic Party, who would be expected to take a more conciliatory stance towards the North.
Moon has said he strongly supports the U.S.-South Korea alliance that has existed since 1953, but he also has called for a review of the THAAD deployment.
South Korea should learn to "say 'No' to the Americans," Moon told the New York Times in an interview last week. He called North Korea's leadership a "ruthless dictatorial regime" but said that sanctions had failed to stop the country's nuclear programs.
"We must embrace the North Korean people as part of the Korean nation, and to do that, whether we like it or not, we must recognize Kim Jong Un as their ruler and as our dialogue partner," Moon said.
President Donald Trump has said that North Korea's drive for a nuclear weapon that could reach the U.S. will be stopped, but hasn't said how that would be accomplished.
He tweeted in January: "North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!"
-- Richard Sisk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org