Anger grows in South Korea over US deployment of THAAD
The newest, the American anti-ballistic system THAAD, just went operational in South Korea, but both sides of the 38th Parallel and above the Yalu River, that is North as well as South Korea is unhappy about the president Trump's latest move and it could swing the outcome of elections in South Korea.
Published: May 3, 2017, 11:58 am
The US antimissile defense system recently installed in South Korea on a golf course, is now operational, a US official confirmed on Monday.
The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, an American-made system to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles, was ready.
Reuters reported that the THAAD system would provide no defense for Japan and its US military bases, as it only covers a 200km range. Its radar however, has much greater range, which covers most of eastern China, including Beijing, China’s naval HQ, and most notably its Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. It also extends into eastern Russia.
THAAD now gives the US an unprecedented view of China as well as Russia, part of the motivation of setting up the system.
In South Korea the newest deployment could upset the upcoming presidential election. The expedited installation and activation of THAAD has become a major campaign issue, as disgruntled voters are now prepared to elect a leader that will force the US to retreat. Moon Jae-in has already warned that the moves had increased distrust of the US.
“It is not desirable for the [caretaker] South Korean government to deploy THAAD hastily at this politically sensitive time, with the presidential election approaching, and without going through the democratic process, an environmental assessment or a public hearing,” said Moon.
“Would it happen this way in the United States? Could the administration make a unilateral decision without following democratic procedures, without ratification or agreement by Congress?” South Koreans are furious about Trump’s threats to North Korea.
Anger has boiled over in Seosongri village since last week as militray contractors rushed to put key parts of THAAD into place, the Associated Press reported. Hundreds of banners on trees and fences along a kilometer were displayed, with slogans reading “Withdraw the illegal THAAD immediately” and “Stop US militarism”.
Media have questioned whether the United States and the current caretaker government that took over for ousted former President Park Geun-hye have conspired to complete THAAD in a rush before the election.
“If South Korea can have more time to process this matter democratically, the US will gain a higher level of trust from South Koreans and therefore the alliance between the two nations will become even stronger,” Moon explained.
The election is one week away, and so far analysts expect Moon to win. His contender, Ahn Cheol-soo, a software mogul who stood on a more centrist platform, is losing votes after the recent provocative moves from Washington.
The upcoming election could end up becoming a referendum on the US-South Korea relationship as voters became more inflamed after President Trump said he would make South Korea pay $1 billion for THAAD. Residents say at least 13 people were injured and had to be hospitalised after violent clashes last week between villagers and some 8 000 police officers.
Villagers showered the law enforcers with insults, calling them “dogs” and “Americans’ slaves”.
The missile shield the US intends to deploy in South Korea could be the first casualty in a US-China conflict, a former Chinese diplomat said, as the installation in Seongju, South Korea has outraged China. China is South Korea’s largest trade partner.
Concerned about its national security interests, China is displeased with the capabilities of the THAAD system’s X-band radar. “If the US and China fought in war, the first round of attack should include the X-band radar,” Yang Xiyu, a former Chinese foreign ministry official tasked with handling affairs on the Korean Peninsula and a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Yonhap News Agency on the sidelines of a seminar last year.
Yang warned that the relationship between China and South Korea will change in response to THAAD. “We had a very good relationship. But if the THAAD deployment will be brought about, the degree will change,” Yang commented. “We need to re-think the China-South Korea partnership.”
“China firmly opposes THAAD and we will take necessary measures to maintain the strategic balance,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang noted.
“We will pay close attention to the relevant actions of the US and ROK and will take necessary measures to maintain national strategic security as well as regional equilibrium,” Yang Yujun said in late July.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
WashingtonAmerican mainstream media reported this week that a group of white school children harassed a group of Native American, black and minority adults when footage of the interaction shows that the exact opposite happened.
BrasiliaNew Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced the withdrawal from the UN Global Compact on Migration as he had promised to do earlier.
WashingtonThe US government shutdown has continued for 18 days. Now defense contractors and lobbyists are starting to worry that it could be bad for Israel.
WashingtonThe United States' national defense hierarchy is, for the first time in history, largely run by women. According to mainstream MSNBC, women have taken over the US military-industrial complex.
Facebook monitors billions of posts per day in over 100 languages. The company’s solution is a network of ideologically-minded workers that ban content with the help of PowerPoint slides. That sadly does not include child porn on third-party apps.
New YorkColumbia University student Julian von Abele, whose comments on Twitter about white people went viral earlier this week, released a statement on Tuesday defending himself.
SantiagoChile has joined the growing exodus from the United Nations Migration Compact. It has become the latest country to withdraw, President's Sebastian Pinera's administration announced.
WashingtonThe US federal government has been neglecting vaccine safety obligations for decades. Anti-vaccine activists have now won an important lawsuit against the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
An Islamic State-linked media outlet says a Canadian man - not Russia - was behind the terror group’s highest-profile cyber attacks, including the takeover of the Twitter account of the US military’s Central Command.
Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections in the United States, the mainstream media were directing their campaign reporting against Republicans.