Shout for 'Stop THAAD' echoes non-stop rally in S. Korean little, peaceful village

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-07 17:13

A major fight against the THAAD deployment has already begun in downtown area of the Seongju county. The entire downtown is filled with anti-THAAD banners in every nook and corner. Every resident, who was interviewed, eagerly explained what they have fought for.

The locals have fought for peace in their hometown and their country as shown in one of the famous slogans that reads "THAAD Out, Peace In." They believe THAAD, which is incapable of defending South Korea from missile attacks from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), will raise threats of war and economic risk.

THAAD has a very limited capability to intercept DPRK missiles as it is designed to shoot down incoming missiles at an altitude of 40-150 km. Most of DPRK missiles targeting South Korea travel at an altitude of less than 40 km.

THAAD's X-band radar can peer deep into territories of China and Russia, causing strong backlashes from the two countries. Two of the ground-based X-band radars for THAAD have been placed in Japan.

It breaks regional strategic balance as the U.S. missile defense (MD) strategy will make useless the mutual assured destruction (MAD) in Northeast Asia. The MD is aggressive in nature as more missile shields of one side inevitably bring more nuclear missiles of the opposing side that can break through the anti-missile system.

"(South) Korea has nothing to gain (from the THAAD deployment). It is a weapons system only benefitting the U.S. and Japan. We first want peace in our village, and eventually in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia," said an owner of a coffee shop near the Seongju county office.

She has witnessed protest rallies since last summer as her shop is located across a parking lot, which the residents named as "Peace Butterfly Square." The space symbolizing their longing for peace has resonated with shout for "Stop THAAD" every night following the abrupt announcement in July last year of the THAAD installation.

Their anger was vented on President Park Geun-hye, who was impeached for an influence-peddling scandal that destroyed the normal management of state affairs. Before the December impeachment, their disappointment and resentment at Park had been kindled by a strong feeling of being betrayed.

"Park Chung-hee was once a God-like figure here on recognitions that people were better off by his favor. Almost all of Seongju people were supporters for Park Geun-hye (in the 2012 presidential election) just because she is his daughter," said Bang Min-joo, an owner of a bakery which sells bread having the shape of an oriental melon, the county's specialty.

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