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>> Deja vu for Chinese holiday-makers headed for South Korea, with reports Beijing has resumed its ban on group tours to the country. A South Korean travel agency told Reuters on Wednesday that its Chinese partners had informed them they wonn't be sending group tours to the south as of January.
The agency also said the move was probably down to visa refusals by Chinese authorities. The same ban ruptured relations last year, part of Chinese retaliation over Seoul's rollout of an American anti-missile system. The third setup in South Korea has infuriated Beijing, which claims its powerful radar could be used to spy on China leaving South Korea's tourism industry barring the brunt of its backlash.
The new tour group ban comes even after recent signs relations were back on track including a visit to China by South Korean leader Moon Jae-in this month. Moon brought an army of Korean TV talent and pop music celebrities to state events, a charm offensive he hoped would buy him support from Beijing for a diplomatic solution to the threat from North Korea.