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Protests continue against THAAD deployment in South Korea

Reporter: Shane Hahm 丨 CCTV.com

08-02-2016 10:30 BJT

Full coverage: THAAD Deployment in South Korea

In South Korea, residents of Seongju county have continued holding rallies against the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense or THAAD anti-missile system in their hometown.

The latest protests come as US Army Secretary Eric Fanning is on a three-day visit to the country. Yonhap news agency says Fanning will speak with the US army unit that will operate the THAAD.

Seongju residents said they worry about the effects of radiation, and believe the installation will undermine stability in the Korean Peninsula.

The Seongju County office is ground zero in the anti-THAAD movement. Protestors have congregated here every day at precisely 8 PM for the past 20 days. They demand the government withdraw a decision to deploy THAAD in their county, because it’s a direct threat to the county’s residents and environment.

"At first I didn’t know much about the THAAD deployment. But when I heard it was being deployed in Seongju I searched the internet and I realized how dangerous it was, especially the electromagnetic waves to children. It makes me nervous and that's why I oppose it," said Lee Moon-Bae, Seongju county resident.

"Being here gives me strength to see people coming together and fighting against this unfair move. It gives me hope that we can stand up to it," said Lee Byung-Sook, Seongju county resident.

The blue ribbon has become a symbol of their cause, and protestors hold candles representing a peaceful campaign.

The county is also gathering signatures for a petition to be sent to the U.S. government.
And organizers have sent a letter to the two main U.S. presidential candidates demanding answers.

"It's about peace on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the world. We want to know where both U.S. presidential candidates stand on the THAAD issue, and whether they have any intention to retract the decision to deploy THAAD  missiles in our county. That's why we sent the letters," said Back Chul-Hyun, co-chairman of anti-THAAD committee.

More than 1,500 people are gathered here at today's rally, braving the heat and humidity. The government says it will do all it can to ensure THAAD isn't a threat to the livelihood of this town. But residents here aren't buying it.

Seongju is a small rural county with 50,000 residents. Nearly a third of those residents live within a two kilometer radius of the proposed THAAD site. The site they say that threatens their basic livelihood.

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