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Seongju Residents Protest THAAD Deliveries, Clash With Police

Reporter Rosyn Park ㅣ 2020-11-27 18:09

Police attempt to clear residents from a bridge where they are staging a sit-in protest against the deployment of a U.S. THAAD missile defense system in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, on Nov. 27, 2020. (Photo: Yonhap News)
Police attempt to clear residents from a bridge where they are staging a sit-in protest against the deployment of a U.S. THAAD missile defense system in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, on Nov. 27, 2020. (Photo: Yonhap News)
Residents of Seongju and civic activists clashed with police on Friday amid fresh protests over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in the rural town in North Gyeongsang Province.

Around 70 people gathered on a bridge leading to the base for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to block the approach of dump trucks carrying daily necessities for troops and construction equipment and materials to improve facilities at the base.

About 600 riot police attempted to disperse the protesters, some who tied themselves to ladder-like structures installed on the bridge, but halted the operation after an activist climbed up a nearby cliff and threatened to jump.

Last month, the defense ministry managed to transport non-weapon equipment and other supplies to the base, but only after police dispersed protesters.

Locals have long been opposed to the stationing of the American missile defense battery in their village, citing environmental and other concerns.

The South Korean government began hosting the THAAD battery in 2016, which also led to strong opposition and economic retaliation from China.

Seoul and Washington continue to defend the system as necessary to cope with the growing missile threats posed by North Korea.
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