In the early morning hours of September 7, U.S. forces in Korea installed four additional THAAD launchers in Seongju, South Korea. Seongju residents and peace activists, who blocked the entryway to the deployment site, stood their ground for more than eight hours before being forcibly removed by the police.
(Video source: News1)
The confrontation between the residents and police started in the night of September 6 and ended the following morning at approximately eight o’clock. 500 residents, religious leaders, and peace activists sat down on the road that leads to the deployment site. Many of them tied themselves together with rope to create a human chain.
The South Korean government dispatched 8,000 police officers to break up the protest. Nearly all of the protesters were physically dragged away by the riot police. At least 50 people were reported to have sustained injuries as a result.
(Video source: Voice of People)
The residents expressed feeling betrayed by the Moon Jae-in administration and said little has changed since he replaced former President Park Geun-hye. The Seongju Stop THAAD Struggle Committee released the following statement on September 7:
Today the Moon Jae-in administration went above the law to illegally execute an “emergency action” by exercising dictatorial power.
Currently, the Blue House’s national security team is made up of personnel who are pro-U.S. and supporters of global capitalism. As long as these people continue to make up the government, the Moon administration will continue to betray [South Korean] citizens.
The unilateral decision to move forward with the THAAD deployment directly contradicts Moon Jae-in’s promise to ensure a decision based on a democratic process in the National Assembly based and a full-scale environmental impact assessment.
In the weeks leading up to September 7, the Moon administration had ordered a small-scale environmental impact assessment in place of a more thorough process. The assessment requires the government to conduct a survey of the residents, but the residents had refused to participate in the survey in protest of the government’s decision to forego a full-scale environmental impact assessment.
The residents of Seongju vow to continue their fight to reverse the THAAD deployment. The village leader of Soseong-ri announced:
We — Seongju, Gimcheon residents and Won Buddhists — will not be discouraged even though the four THAAD launchers made their way into the deployment site. The THAAD is a weapon of war. We will continue the fight for peace knowing that it could take five or even ten years.
By ZoominKorea staff