Saturday, December 10, 2022

Four more THAAD rocket launchers were deployed in South Korea amid protests

Four more rocket launchers for a US missile defense system were deployed in South Korea Thursday after police removed hundreds of protesters from the site.

That was reported by Yonhap.

Clashes occurred throughout the night as some 400 residents fought off police officers near their community center in Seongju, some 300 km south of Seoul, where the THAAD system has been partially deployed on a military base.


Police dispersed the residents around 5 a.m. but only after dozens of locals and police officers sustained injuries and were taken to nearby hospitals.

“The current administration, like the former Park Geun-hye administration, is committing an illegal act,” said a local official. “We cannot accept THAAD under any conditions.”

The THAAD equipment was carried by about 10 U.S. military vehicles from Osan Air Base, some 70 kilometers south of Seoul. Police said some 8,000 officers were sent to the area near the deployment site.

Two truck-mounted launchers and a powerful X-band radar are currently in operation at the base. A THAAD battery is known to require at least six rocket launchers, also involving a fire control and communications unit.

President Moon Jae-in ordered the deployment of additional THAAD launchers soon after Pyongyang launched a second intercontinental ballistic missile in late July.

“The government promised to inform us a day before the additional deployment. It is a trick for the police to drive us out of our rally site just a few hours after we received the notification,” said a resident who identified himself as a 30-year-old surnamed Lee.

Some protesters wound chains around their necks and locked their bodies onto trucks that blocked the roads to the site.

Others tied ropes around their bodies and formed a line to stop the police from separating them.

Local residents have protested the THAAD deployment for fear that their town may turn into a primary target for North Korean attacks.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.