SEOUL (Xinhua) — Thousands of South Korean protestors against the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in their homeland took to the streets in central Seoul to demand the reversal of the installation decision.
About 3,000 demonstrators gathered outside the Seoul metropolitan government building as of 4 p.m. local time (0700 GMT), according to an organizer composed of advocacy groups and residents living in the THAAD site.
The attendees clamored for the cancellation of the decision to install the U.S. missile interception system that is not needed anywhere in the Korean Peninsula.
From time to time, it was raining in the capital city, but the protestors marched scores of meters to the U.S. embassy in South Korea to surround it in protest against the hurried push for the U.S. weapons deployment.
It was called a “human chain” event as a line of people stood around the embassy of the United States. The event was going on as of 6:30 p.m., according to the organizer.
A blue wave was slopping around the streets as people held blue placards and pamphlets that read “Repeal THAAD” and “Hate THAAD” as well as the most famous “THAAD out, Peace in.”
Ordinary citizens and residents from Seongju and nearby Gimcheon county made free speeches on the stage in central Seoul to express their strong opposition to the U.S. missile defense system.
Seoul and Washington agreed in July last year to place one THAAD battery in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province. The site was changed in September into a golf course at Soseong-ri village to the northernmost of the county.
Two THAAD mobile launchers were deployed to the golf course, just two weeks before the presidential by-election on May 9. Four more launchers were transported to a U.S. military base near Seongju, but it was not reported to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Moon has ordered a thorough investigation into the unreported delivery of the launchers. One THAAD battery is composed of six mobile launchers, 48 interceptors, the AN/TPY-2 radar and the fire and control unit.
The anti-THAAD protest rally was staged ahead of President Moon’s first summit meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington for two days from June 29.
During the two-day meeting, the two leaders were widely expected to discuss the THAAD deployment.