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No Korean films at Beijing festival 'not political decision'

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/14/2017

BEIJING (AP) — An organizer of the Beijing International Film Festival has denied that politics had anything to do with this year's lack of South Korean participants.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency last month cited unidentified Korean industry sources as saying that invitations for some Korean films to screen during the April 16-23 festival had been revoked.

However, Ai Dongyun, vice secretary of the festival organizing committee, said Friday that films were chosen on merit and without consideration for national origin.

Relations between Beijing and Seoul have plummeted in recent months over China's objections to South Korea's deployment of a U.S. anti-missile defense system that Beijing says threatens China's security. That has sparked widespread commercial retaliation against South Korean business activities in China, affecting interests from department stores to singers and football teams.

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