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Residents hold daily protests against THAAD deployment in ROK


08-02-2016 06:20 BJT

Full coverage: THAAD Deployment in South Korea

South Korean residents have been holding daily protests against the government’s decision to deploy a THAAD missile defense system in Seongju county.

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

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 is not a threat to the livelihood of this town. But residents here are not 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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