Anti-US Groups Plan to Show Up In Force to Protest President Trump During Visit to Korea

It will be interesting to see how far these anti-US groups are willing to go to protest President Trump during his visit to South Korea.  I suspect the Moon administration will keep them in check in order to not embarrass themselves during President Trump’s visit, but I guess we will see:

Anti-Trump posters at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul, Sunday / Korea Times photo by Jung Min-ho

Saturday night was supposed to be a time to celebrate the first anniversary of the massive candlelit protests that eventually helped oust corruption-tainted former President Park Geun-hye. But some anti-U.S. groups used the gathering as an opportunity to promote their own propaganda.

“No Trump, no war,” was one of the key messages shouted at Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square by some anti-U.S. groups. Led by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the country’s second-largest umbrella trade union, they vowed to do all they can to mar U.S. President Donald Trump’s state visit to Korea next month.

They called Trump a threat to peace on the Korean peninsula, saying they will follow him and stage protests during his visit.

Trump is scheduled to meet with his Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in, Nov. 7, and deliver a speech at the National Assembly the following day.

The groups said they plan to stage a protest in front of Cheong Wa Dae when the two are supposed to have dinner there and hold another rally when Trump speaks at the Assembly.

The KCTU has a history of anti-U.S. protests. On Oct. 14, its members gathered near a Busan hotel, where the U.S. Navy held a party to celebrate its 242-year history, chanting messages like “U.S.troops go home!”  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: Nigerians Protest Nigeria in Korea

Biafrans' protest in Seoul

A group of Biafrans calls for the Nigerian government to stop the suppression of ethnic Biafrans in the eastern states of the African nation during a news conference in downtown Seoul on Oct. 26, 2017. Biafra declared independence in 1967, which led to two and a half years of civil war, and was reintegrated into Nigeria after the war. (Yonhap)

Picture of the Day: THAAD Roadblock

U.S. Army to deploy 4 more THAAD launchers on Sept. 7

This photo, taken on Sept. 6, 2017, shows farming machines that residents placed to block a road to a village near a U.S. base in Seongju, 296 km southeast of Seoul, where two launchers for an advanced U.S. missile defense system, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), are deployed. The residents’ move came amid reports that the U.S. military will deploy four additional THAAD missile interceptor launchers to the base at 2:00 a.m. the next day. (Yonhap)

Dozens Injured After Korean Protesters Removed to Allow Deployment of Additional THAAD Launchers

After all the months of drama in regards to this issue, the THAAD launchers are finally in:

U.S. military vehicle moves as South Korean police officers try to block residents and protesters who oppose to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, in Seongju, South Korea, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017.

I guess the next concern from USFK will be whether the road to the THAAD site will remain open or is this a one time police presence to open the road?  If so the helicopter resupplies to the site will have to continue:

Thousands of South Korean police were deployed near the THAAD site, which is in a remote southeastern area of the country, to clear the way for the U.S. convoy carrying the four additional launchers and other equipment on Thursday.

Scuffles broke out when hundreds of protesters tried to block the path to the former golf course that now houses THAAD. Local health and fire officials said dozens of people suffered mostly minor injuries.

The defense ministry said that, despite the protests, the THAAD deployment was completed.

Officials stressed it was a “tentative” measure resulting from the urgent threat posed by North Korea and a decision on maintaining THAAD will be made after a full environmental impact assessment is completed.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

Protesters Gather to Block Expected Movement of Additional THAAD Launchers to Seongju

It looks like there could be chaos today in in Seongju as the US military tries to move the remaining launchers and equipment on to the THAAD site:

The U.S. military will deploy additional launchers for an advanced missile-defense system Thursday in a remote area of South Korea despite local protests, the defense ministry said.

Seoul said Monday that it had cleared the last administrative hurdle to installing four more launchers soon to complete the deployment of the anti-missile battery known as THAAD, aimed at countering the growing threat from the North.

The plan has met with regular protests in Seongju, the southeastern area where the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system is stationed.

Protesters gathered again Wednesday near the former golf course that is housing THAAD, saying they would try to try to block the entrance with cars and tractors.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

ROK Defense Ministry Advocates to Local Residents that THAAD Deployment is Temporary

I think the key word in this article is “temporary”.  What is temporary about the THAAD deployment to South Korea?  Are North Korea’s missile going to magically disappear one day to where South Korea will no longer need the THAAD battery?:

Seongju residents gather on Aug. 30 after receiving letters from the Defense Ministry concerning the proposed deployment of four additional THAAD missile launchers. The sign is calling for those opposed to THAAD missile deployment to come to Soseong-ri, Seongju, North Gyeongsan Province on the day that the launchers are to be installed. (Provided by the Committee Opposed to THAAD Deployment)

Groups opposing the THAAD deployment are up in arms after revelations that Minister of Defense Song Young-moon sent a letter to Seongju and Gimcheon residents asking them for their “understanding” on the antimissile system’s temporary deployment. Groups working to oppose the THAAD deployment reported on Aug. 30 that Ministry of Defense officials, including active colonels and lieutenant colonels in the military, had traveled to the homes of around 20 people on Aug. 23–25 to deliver the letter from Song. The homes included those of the leaders of seven villages in the Seongju and Gimcheon areas, as well as the chairs of senior citizens’ and women’s associations, the groups said.

The letter stated that the temporary THAAD deployment was “unavoidable for a priority response to the North Korean threat.” “A temporary deployment means temporarily installing THAAD in open terrain with minimal preparations based on a small-scale environmental impact assessment, as opposed to completing the deployment after a general environmental impact assessment and the building of a permanently infrastructure,” it explained.  [Hankyoreh]

You can read more at the link.

ROK Government Nearing Completion of Environmental Assessment of Seongju THAAD Site

It will be interesting to see if the protesters allow the additional THAAD equipment on to the site considering the blockade they have been maintaining.  Will the Moon administration be willing to send in police to forcibly remove grandmas and grandpas off of the road?  We are about to find out:

South Korea is poised to complete the installment of a US missile shield next week, officials said Friday, despite unabated controversy over the Moon Jae-in government’s flip-flopping on the timing of the deployment.

The stationing of the remaining four launchers of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system comes as the Environment Ministry wraps up a small-scale environmental review. The equipment will join the already operational two launchers, radar and other assets to form a full-fledged battery.

The move will also coincide with a maiden face-to-face meeting between South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo and US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, set for Wednesday in Washington.

“Currently a small-scale environmental impact assessment is under way, and I can’t say it for certain, but the results are likely to come out around Monday,” a Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters on customary condition of anonymity.

The Ministry of National Defense echoed the view, saying the four launchers and related apparatus will be brought to the site in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, as soon as the survey is finished.  [Korea Herald]

You can read more at the link.