By Staff for Zoom in Korea. The residents of Seongju and Gimcheon were caught off guard when the United States Forces Korea and the South Korean Defense Ministry forced key parts of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system into the former Lotte Skyhill Golf Course in the early morning hours of April 26. Many of the THAAD parts, including the AN/TPY-2 radar, are believed to have been transported into the deployment site. Below is a minute by minute breakdown of the conflict. The environmental impact assessment has yet to be completed, they also noted, yet the key THAAD components have already been transported into the deployment site. A total of 12 protesters sustained injuries and were escorted to the hospital in ambulances. The Defense Ministry reportedly told the South Korean media that it plans to transport the remainder of the THAAD components into the deployment site by the end of this year.
By Bruce K. Gagnon for Organizing Notes – Today the Pentagon will test fire a nuclear missile from Vandenberg AFB in California into the Pacific landing at their often radiated target Kwajalein Atoll Just yesterday the Pentagon tried to sneak the THAAD ‘missile defense’ system in the dark of night into the new base in Seongju, South Korea but protesters were there along with a zillion police pushing them back…
By Staff of Zoom In Korea – And please help us in calling the Defense Ministry to complain and tell them to stop the forced deployment of the THAAD system! During the protest on Saturday April 22, the Seongju Struggle Committee condemned the United States Forces Korea (USFK) and the South Korean government for rushing to begin construction of the THAAD base even before completing the necessary prerequisite steps — “It is illegal to bring in construction-related material when the results of the environmental impact assessment have yet to come out.” On April 20, the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the South Korean government had handed over the former Lotte Skyhill Golf Course to the United States Forces Korea. The USFK is proceeding with preparations for the THAAD deployment. On the same day, U.S. military personnel were seen driving construction vehicles through Soseong-ri Village into the deployment site. Thirty residents and Won Buddhists attempted to block two vehicles from entering but were unsuccessful. The South Korean police disrupted the peaceful protest of the residents and created a path for the vehicles to enter the deployment site.
By Anthony Gronowicz for A People’s History of US Foreign Policy. The first battle, May 4, 1949—the biggest–initiated a series of clashes that culminated in the publicly declared start of the Korean War on June 25, 1950. This May 4th combat occurred when Rhee’s forces crossed the 38th parallel, only to have two of his infantry companies defect to the communist side. Numerous August skirmishes led the U.S. Korean Military Advisory Group Commander, General W.L. Roberts, to conclude, “Each was in our opinion brought on by the presence of a small south Korean salient north of the parallel …the South Koreans wish to invade the North. … almost every incident has been provoked by the South Korean security forces.” By June 25, 1950, hundreds of troops had been killed as thousands of soldiers fought countless small engagements. Convincing evidence has yet to be shown that the North was preparing to invade the South.
By John Zangas for DC Media Group – A South Korean delegation spent Easter Sunday at the White House decrying plans to deploy the THAAD missile system in Seongju County, South Korea. The anti-war activist group also expressed concerns that the deployment marked increased militarism in Asia and in the Pacific, and with it increasing tensions between North and South Korea. About thirty took place in the peaceful event. It was the last stop in a 9 city tour. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system is a mobile trailer launched high altitude anti-missile which uses its own Mach +8 speed to destroy incoming ballistic missiles both inside or outside the atmosphere. The Lockheed Martin system was deployed to South Korea to counter the North Korean missile program.Many South Koreans in Seongju County remain opppsed to the THAAD deployment, according to Rev. Sounghey Kim, co-chair of the Seongju Struggle Committeeto Stop THAAD Deployment in South Korea. Rev. Sounghey Kim, who is Buddhist, expressed worry that deploying the system in Seongju, a primarily agricultural region far south of the border of North Korea…
By Brian Becker of ANSWER Coalition for Liberation News. Trump’s military action against Syria muted his ruling class critics and he won the praise of the Democratic Party leadership and the mainstream media. Trump is on a roll and the next target is North Korea. The Democratic Party “resistance” to Trump has been replaced by obsequiousness. Congress barely whimpered that Trump didn’t even bother to ask for authorization for new war. The Chinese leadership is obviously stunned. In fact, China is now convinced that a new US military strike in Asia may be imminent unless the DPRK backs down from further expected weapons tests perhaps as early as this coming Saturday – the birthday anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the founding leader of the DPRK. It must be remembered that the DPRK has consistently offered to suspend nuclear weapons tests in return for the United States cancelling its massive, annual military exercises that simulate the destruction of the North. Both the Obama administration and the Trump administration immediately rejected this offer.
By Staff of Zoom In Korea – Ramsay Liem, a member of the Task Force organizing the speaking tour, spoke about the importance of highlighting the South Korean people’s anti-THAAD struggle: We will convey our solidarity with the citizens of Seongju County, South Korea and protest the THAAD deployment to officials in Washington D.C. We also want to take advantage of the tour to build stronger relations with the Boston-area peace movement and to ensure that Korea and Northeast Asia are squarely on the agenda of anti-war activists. For most Americans, Korea is a problem ‘over there.’ The deployment of THAAD in Seongju is just the latest example of U.S. intrusion into Korean affairs to further its own geopolitical interests.
By Staff for Zoom In Korea. At 8 am on March 29, construction vehicles attempted to drive through the village of Soseong-ri to enter the deployment site for the THAAD missile system. The vehicles were reportedly carrying equipment used for geological surveys, possibly for the purpose of conducting an environmental impact assessment of the site. At approximately 8:30am, village residents and Won Buddhist ministers blocked the vehicles from going any farther by holding a sit-in protest in the middle of the road. Close to 9:00am, hundreds of police officers surrounded the village residents and ordered them to disperse. The residents, however, stood their ground, and tensions with the police lasted for one hour. At noon, the construction vehicles attempted yet again to pass through the village, but the residents quickly resumed their sit-in protest to block them. By about 1:30pm, all police and construction vehicles, unable to gain entry, retreated from the village. At 2:00pm, the village residents held their weekly Wednesday protest rally at the Soseong-ri village center.
By Staff of Zoom In Korea – On March 18, approximately 5,000 people from across South Korea gathered in Soseong-ri, Seongju County to protest the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system. The action was organized by a coalition of anti-THAAD task forces composed of residents in Seongju and Gimcheon near the deployment site, as well as the Won Buddhists, and joined by similar task forces formed in Daegu/North Gyeongsang Province and Busan/Ulsan/South Gyeongsang Province, as well as a national task force composed of peace/anti-war organizations and a long list of civic groups.
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Clearing the FOG. Today on Clearing the FOG (Forces of Greed) Radio, we spoke with Tim Shorrock, a journalist who grew up in Japan and South Korea and who’s been writing about US military and economic ties to Japan and Korea for over 30 years, and Hyun Lee, a New York City-based writer and activist who is a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea. Mainstream media in the US are complicit in drumming up support for US aggression against North Korea. They fail to place North Korea’s actions in the context of the long history of US hostility and interference in North and South Korea. As both the US and North Korea prepare for war, and a successful sociopolitical movement in South Korea has ousted President Park Geun-hye, there is a critical need for clarity about North and South Korea
By Lee Chul-Jae and Lee Sung-Eun for Korea Joongang Daily – Navy’s Special Warfare Development Group, better known as the SEAL Team 6, will arrive in South Korea soon for joint military drills and take part in an exercise simulating the removal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to the Ministry of National Defense Monday. The counterterrorism unit is best known for its removal of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011, known as Operation Neptune Spear. It will be the team’s first time participating in the annual Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises, which will run through late April. The ministry did not say when the SEAL Team 6 will arrive.
By Mel Gurtov for Anti War – The US decision, supported by the South Korean government, to deploy an antimissile system known as THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) may be one of the most thoughtless strategic moves in a generation. The official US argument is that close-in defense against North Korean missiles is necessary. But the deployment has resulted in the following: an argument in China for increasing its nuclear weapons stockpile; an incentive in North Korea for moving rapidly ahead to develop its long-range missile capability; a deep fissure in China-South Korea relations; roiling of South Korean politics at a time when its corrupt president has been impeached; and a new issue in Sino-US relations. Most of these negatives were well known when THAAD was initially on the drawing board several years ago.
By Staff of Zim Eye – History was early this morning broken as South Korean Supreme Court judges upheld President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment, removing her from office. The President has been permanently kicked out of work. Ms Park has been accused of colluding with a friend who allegedly pressured big companies to give money in return for government favours. Ms Park and her friend, Choi Soon-sil, both deny doing anything wrong. South Korea’s constitutional court delivered its verdict after a final session lasting over an hour at around midnight (London time).