Residents in a South Korean county have braved a rainy night to protest against the deployment of an advanced US
missile system in their hometown.
They gathered on Sunday in front of the government building in Seongju County which has been chosen for the site of the deployment.
Local residents have been rallying since July 13 when the government chose their hometown as the site of deployment for the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
The system will be installed by the end of next year to defend the country against nuclear and missile threats from North Korea
as South Korea
and the United States
The demonstrators on Sunday night were holding banners reading, “We will fight to the death against THAAD deployment.”
“The US neglects our country’s interests and insists on deploying the THAAD here. I think that they stabbed in the back of South Korea
,” an unnamed local resident told Reuters.
The protesters have organized a joint signature activity on the internet to draw the attention of the international community to the deployment, which they fear may have negative health and environmental impacts.
“I beg people to help us and our children please. They are too young to know what had happened. I beg all the people to join in this signature activity,” said one of the protesters.
The residents have also set up Seongju’s “anti-THAAD” deployment committee. They say if deployed, THAAD would impact the lives of 50,000 residents.
The committee said the system could not even protect the South Korean capital of Seoul and will only put the Korean Peninsula under a “cold war situation.”
The decision to have the system deployed has been met with opposition both in South Korea as well as outside the country.
China and Russia say the system would threaten security, stability, and peace on the Korean Peninsula and do nothing to help denuclearize the volatile region.
Moscow and Beijing view the planned move as an attempt to put their military facilities within the range of US radars.
The announcement of the system deployment has also angered North Korea, which has threatened to take “physical action” in response to the decision.