After all the months of drama in regards to this issue, the THAAD launchers are finally in:
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.
Fortunately this protest did not turn violent:
Conservative South Koreans who favor THAAD deployment confronted anti-THAAD activists near the site in Seongju when they attempted to enter the local town hall.
More than 200 members of a coalition of conservative organizations, including irate Korean homemakers, began a rally outside the building around noon on Tuesday, South Korean news service News 1 reported.
As tensions mounted between the two factions, about 1,500 police were deployed to block potential conflict, which was avoided until about 5 p.m. when activists calling for the “prompt deployment of THAAD” began marching on town hall.A Buddhist sect was holding an event on the road outside the building when the march began.
Won Buddhists protesting THAAD have called for its cancellation.
Facing police obstruction, the conservative activists demanded the “right of way quickly,” citing the law.
Shouts were exchanged across the sides, and anti-THAAD activists blocked the road to prevent an escalation.
No injuries were reported.
South Korean activists who oppose THAAD have not stopped occupying the town hall and outlying areas since the missile defense system was deployed in April. [UPI]
You can read more at the link.
These protesters may have wanted to rethink their protest date considering the 67th anniversary for the start of the Korean War is this weekend:
Thousands of protesters marched near the U.S. embassy in Seoul on Saturday, accusing U.S. President Donald Trump of “forcing” South Korea to deploy the controversial American missile defense system China opposes.
The protest came as South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-In heads to Washington next week for his first summit with Trump amid soaring tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
Around 4,000 people participated in the first anti-U.S. rally under Moon’s presidency. It was also the largest protest since South Korea and the United States agreed to deploy the system, known as the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
Protesters marched with placards that read: “Trump, stop forcing (South Korea) to deploy THAAD” and “No THAAD, No Trump.”
The crowd included residents from the southeastern county of Seongju where the system is being deployed. [Korea Times]
You can read more at the link, but Yonhap had the protest number at 3,000.
What I am wondering is how many of these protesters are actually from the village bordered by the THAAD site outside of Seongju? How many were from the anti-US leftist groups that typically turn out to protests like this? You would think that would be basic information a reporter would try and find out.
Secondly their turn out for being a weekend in Seoul is actually quite weak which is an indication of the public support the South Korean leftists have on the THAAD issue. Recent polling data shows that 53% of Koreans support the deployment and 32% are against it. The only thing that I see that could change those numbers in favor of the leftists is if President Trump makes unreasonable compensation demands for the deployment on President Moon. Hitting the pocket books of South Koreans is something that could quickly get the South Korean public to side with the leftist protesters.