EDITION : English/Korean


South Korean Government Faces THAAD Protests Anew

by YuGee / Aug 25, 2016 06:39 AM EDT
South Korean town residents shouts slogans protesting a plan to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, in their neighborhood, in Seoul, South Korea. The missile system will be deployed in south

Residents of Gimcheon City in South Korea staged a rally on Wednesday, August 24, to protest against the decision of the government to examine their neighborhood as an option for the potential site of the U.S. anti-missile system deployment.

Based on an article from Yonhap News, there were approximately 8,000 residents who gathered at a sports complex in the city in North Gyeongsang Province to relay their opposition against the government's decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on a golf course in northern Seongju, which is 296 kilometers southeast of the capital Seoul. Gimcheon is situated in the locality of the potential THAAD site.

However, there were also reports that police estimated the number of those who took part in the rally at 6,000.

Last month, South Korea and the United States came up with a decision to install a THAAD battery in Seongju by the end of next year in an attempt to defend against North Korea's developing missile and nuclear threats.

Because of the protests by Seongju residents against the government's plan, the government said that it will consider another venue for the THAAD installation once the Seongju residents come up with a consensus regarding the potential site. When the Lotte golf course became a prominent option, residents near it started to express their opposition.

Park Bo Saeng, Mayor of Gimcheon City, and five co-chairmen of a task force created to fight the possible THAAD deployment shaved their hair during the rally to show their disagreement with the plan.

Before shaving his hair, Kim Se Woon, one of the chairmen of the task force commented, "The government initially chose the Seongsan artillery base as the site for THAAD deployment but is trying to change the site to the Lotte golf course, facing fierce opposition from Seongju residents. Why would it try to change the site if THAAD is not harmful?If it is not, the government should prove this scientifically, persuade them and do as it intended to do at first. We can never accept a THAAD deployment plan that ignores 140,000 Gimcheon citizens."

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