SEOUL, March 6 South Korea's Lotte Group said on
Monday four of its retail stores in China were closed after
inspections by authorities, as Seoul protests at discriminating
action by China after Lotte agreed to provide land for a U.S.
missile defence system.
A Lotte Mart spokesman said the four stores, in Dandong,
Changzhou and other locations, were closed last week after the
inspections, but could not provide further details. As of
January, Lotte Mart had about 115 stores in China.
Shares in Lotte Shopping, where Lotte Mart is a
business division, fell 3.5 percent as of 0019 GMT compared to
0.4 percent drop in the wider market.
The retail closures come after affiliate Lotte International
Co Ltd last week approved a South Korean land swap to allow the
U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system, which
is being installed in response to North Korea's missile threat.
Earlier on Monday, South Korea's military said North Korea
fired an unidentified projectile from its Tongchang-ri region,
where a missile base is located.
China has objected to the deployment of the missile system,
saying it has a radar capable of penetrating Chinese territory.
South Korean media said last week that Chinese government
officials had given verbal guidance to tour operators in China
to stop selling trips to South Korea, only days after the Lotte
The Lotte's duty free operator, Lotte Duty Free, last
Thursday said a cyber attack using Chinese internet protocol
(IP) addresses had crashed its website. It is currently back
The South Korean government on Sunday protested what it
called discriminating action by China towards South Korean
"We will act accordingly to international law against any
actions that violate policies of the World Trade Organisation
(WTO) or the free trade agreement between South Korea and
China," said South Korea Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan.
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Michael Perry)