South Korean Self-Immolates, Demands U.S. THAAD Weapons Be Kept Out Of Korea

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

By David Swanson for Let’s Try Democracy – Our country only has a future via the success of the Moon Jae-In Administration. President Moon Jae-In, long ago, when I was in Germany, I am someone who supported and respected you. President Moon Jae-In, I will give you a direct message. THAAD can not happen. Mr. President, you also know that THAAD will not bring peace, but anxiety and the dangers of war. There’s a saying that you take one step back to go two steps forward, I was considering that there might be a bigger picture, but by all means this is not the case. To be the coveted interest of the American superpower can’t be easy. But if from the beginning you are pushed like this, how will you stand up? I am a person who genuinely, honestly hoped for the success of the Moon Jae-In administration. Through the success of the Moon Jae-In administration, we could have seen a future for North-South Korean economic partnerships, peace & reunification, work done to achieve balance in Northeast Asia, and a future for us [Corean] descendants. THAAD, for all intents and purposes, will not be a war deterrent nor a protective arm for peace.

USFK Install THAAD Launchers In Seongju After An Eight-Hour Confrontation Between Residents And S Korean Police

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By Staff of Zoom In Korea – 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.

Urgent Warning: Time To Hit The Reset Button On US-Korean Policy

From ZoomInKorea.org

By Medea Benjamin for Code Pink – Touching down in Washington DC Friday night after a peace delegation to South Korea organized by the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea (STIK), I saw the devastating news. No, it was not that Reince Priebus had been booted from the dysfunctional White House. It was that North Korea had conducted another intercontinental ballistic missile test, and that the United States and South Korea had responded by further ratcheting up this volatile conflict. The response was not just the usual tit-for-tat, which did happen. Just hours after the North Korean test, the US and South Korean militaries launched their own ballistic missiles as a show of force. Even more incendiary, however, is that South Korean President Moon Jae-in also responded by reversing his decision to halt deployment of the US weapon system known as THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense). President Moon gave his military the green light to add four more launchers to complete the system. South Korea’s new, liberal president came into office on May 10 on the wave of a remarkable “people power” uprising that had led to the impeachment and jailing of the corrupt President Park Geun-hye.

South Korea’s Anti-THAAD Fight Continues

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By Zoom in Korea. South Korea – July 12 marked one year since the beginning of the Seongju residents’ struggle to stop the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system. So far, the AN/TPY-2 radar — the main component of the THAAD battery that will allow the U.S. to track missile activity in North Korea and China — and two of the six interceptor launchers have made their way into the deployment site. The residents of Seongju and South Korean peace activists are still protesting daily, at times putting their bodies on the line, to block the remaining parts of the THAAD battery from entering the deployment site and call for a reversal of the deployment. Despite the election of a new liberal administration in May, the South Korean government’s response to the protests of Seongju residents has largely remained unchanged.

Protesters Bellow ‘U.S. Out Of Korea’ Just Blocks Away From White House

JARED FELDSCHREIBER
Ji Gephardt [L] and Angie Kim [R] join fellow like-minded protesters during a rally against perceived U.S. militarism in Korea.

By Jared Feldschreiber for The Huffington Post – Approximately 20 demonstrators rallied at Lafayette Park Friday afternoon to protest U.S. involvement in Korea, just as President Moon Jae-In met with his counterpart, Donald Trump in the Oval Office. The protesters uniformly agreed that it is continued U.S. presence and bellicose language coming out of Washington, which has destroyed prospects for peace in Korea. “[President Moon] was elected [in May] with a mandate to change course. He said he would during the election campaign,” Sarah Sloan, with the anti-war Answer Coalition, told me. “We’re saying: ‘live up to it.’ I think he has different pressures on him. We oppose the deployment of THAAD – Terminal High Altitude Area Defense – [which has been deployed in South Korea].” THAAD is an advanced system designed to intercept short, medium, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles during their terminal flight phase. It is believed to be capable of intercepting North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missiles, as it is equipped with long-range radar. In July 2016, military officials in South Korea and the U.S. agreed to deploy it to counter threats.

Join DC Protest Friday On Korea as President Moon Meets President Trump

From ZoomInKorea.org

By Staff of Yonhap News Agency – SEOUL, June 24 (Yonhap) — Thousands of South Koreans staged a protest rally in central Seoul on Saturday demanding the withdrawal of the deployment of an American high-tech anti-missile defense system as President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump are set to meet in Washington D.C. next week. “The deployment of THAAD, which is unnecessary for the defense of the Korean Peninsula, should be pulled back,” the protesters said in a rally held in Seoul Plaza at the heart of Seoul. The rally’s organizer put the number of participants at 3,000. The rally came ahead of the first Moon-Trump summit to be held from June 29-30, which is expected to feature the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). After taking office last month, Moon ordered the deployment to be delayed until an environmental impact assessment is carried out at its deployment site. “The South Korea-U.S. summit to come next week should be a venue where the review of the THAAD deployment should be assured,” the protests said. They also demanded the U.S. stop enforcing the deployment.

‘Shocked’ South Korea Leader Orders Probe Into U.S. THAAD Additions

FILE PHOTO: A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency. U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency/Handout...

By Heekyong Yang and Ju-min Park for Reuters – South Korean President Moon Jae-in has ordered a probe after his Defence Ministry failed to inform him that four more launchers for the controversial U.S. THAAD anti-missile system had been brought into the country, his spokesman said on Tuesday. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system battery was initially deployed in March in the southeastern region of Seongju with just two of its maximum load of six launchers to counter a growing North Korean missile threat. During his successful campaign for the May 9 presidential election, Moon called for a parliamentary review of the system, the deployment of which infuriated China, North Korea’s lone major ally. “President Moon said it was very shocking” to hear the four additional launchers had been installed without being reported to the new government or to the public, presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan told a media briefing. Moon had campaigned on a more moderate approach to Pyongyang, calling for engagement even as the reclusive state pursues nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions and threats of more sanctions.

Time For Peace Negotiations In Korea, Not Escalation

Thaad Protest in South Korea

By staff for Center for Peace and Disarmament at People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy. The state of affairs on the Korean Peninsula is more volatile than ever, now that President Park has been impeached and new government is to be constituted through an early presidential election in South Korea. The Trump administration, in the meantime, is fueling the escalating tension even further with messages that it will not rule out a preemptive strike on North Korea, and that it will redeploy strategic nuclear warheads to South Korea if necessary. The situation is further destabilized by the Trump administration’s decision to send an aircraft carrier to waters near the Korean Peninsula. The latest military stance and strategy of Washington, however, completely overlooks the desire of Koreans for peace. The Kim Jong-un government in Pyongyang meanwhile has warned of another upcoming nuclear test it intends to conduct, poised as it is to show off its growing nuclear capabilities. An existing crisis is already escalating in Northeast Asia over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system that the South Korean and U.S. governments have decided to deploy in South Korea. All these acts of military bravado, taking hostage the lives and peace of Koreans, must cease now. It is time for policymakers to be responsible and return to dialogue and negotiations and stop fueling the growing tensions.

THAAD Rocket Fuel: Likely Ground Water Contamination Coming To Seongju, South Korea

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By Bruce K. Gagnon for Organizing Notes – The unwelcome US deployment of the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile defense (MD) system in Seongju, South Korea is not only a significant threat to regional peace but is also a major environmental catastrophe waiting to happen. The reason is that rocket fuel contains a deadly chemical component called perchlorate. And since the Seongju area is a melon farming community the risk of ground water contamination by perchlorate should be alarming to all concerned. Perchlorate, the explosive ingredient in solid rocket fuel, has leaked from military bases and weapons and aerospace contractors’ plants in at least 22 states, contaminating drinking water for millions of Americans. In the US scientists have warned that perchlorate could cause thyroid deficiency in more than 2.2 million women of childbearing age. This thyroid deficiency could damage the fetus of pregnant women, if left untreated. Reports indicate that 20 million to 40 million Americans may be exposed to the chemical.

US & South Korea Force THAAD Through Protesters

Riot Police THAAD Being Forced Through Protesters 4-26-17

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.

U.S. Missile Madness Hypocrisy

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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…

The USFK Take Control Of THAAD Site through Brute Force

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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.

South Korean Delegation Opposes THAAD Missile Deployment At Seongju

Delegation to stop THAAD missile deployment in South Korea. Photo: Anne Meador

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…

April 4-16: U.S. National Speaking Tour To Oppose THAAD Deployment In S Korea

From zoominkorea.org

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.

Residents Block Construction Vehicles From THAAD Deployment Site

THAAD protest April 2017

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.