Remaining THAAD elements transported to deployment site in South Korea

2017-09-07 02:40:35 GMT2017-09-07 10:40:35(Beijing Time) Xinhua English
A protester clashes with the police during a demonstration against the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in Seongju, South Korea, on Sept. 7, 2017. Seoul's defense ministry said the remaining THAAD elements and other construction equipment would be delivered to the former golf course at Soseong-ri village in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province within Thursday, and thousands of policemen violently dispersed peace activists and residents living near the site of the THAAD missile defense system. (Xinhua/Yao Qilin) A protester clashes with the police during a demonstration against the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in Seongju, South Korea, on Sept. 7, 2017. Seoul's defense ministry said the remaining THAAD elements and other construction equipment would be delivered to the former golf course at Soseong-ri village in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province within Thursday, and thousands of policemen violently dispersed peace activists and residents living near the site of the THAAD missile defense system. (Xinhua/Yao Qilin)
Elements of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile interception system arrive in Seongju, South Korea, on Sept. 7, 2017. Seoul's defense ministry said the remaining THAAD elements and other construction equipment would be delivered to the former golf course at Soseong-ri village in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province within Thursday, and thousands of policemen violently dispersed peace activists and residents living near the site of the THAAD missile defense system. (Xinhua/Yao Qilin) Elements of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile interception system arrive in Seongju, South Korea, on Sept. 7, 2017. Seoul's defense ministry said the remaining THAAD elements and other construction equipment would be delivered to the former golf course at Soseong-ri village in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province within Thursday, and thousands of policemen violently dispersed peace activists and residents living near the site of the THAAD missile defense system. (Xinhua/Yao Qilin)
Protesters clash with the police during a demonstration against the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in Seongju, South Korea, on Sept. 7, 2017. Seoul's defense ministry said the remaining THAAD elements and other construction equipment would be delivered to the former golf course at Soseong-ri village in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province within Thursday, and thousands of policemen violently dispersed peace activists and residents living near the site of the THAAD missile defense system. (Xinhua/Yao Qilin) Protesters clash with the police during a demonstration against the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in Seongju, South Korea, on Sept. 7, 2017. Seoul's defense ministry said the remaining THAAD elements and other construction equipment would be delivered to the former golf course at Soseong-ri village in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province within Thursday, and thousands of policemen violently dispersed peace activists and residents living near the site of the THAAD missile defense system. (Xinhua/Yao Qilin)

SEONGJU, South Korea, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- The remaining elementsof the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missileinterception system were transported Thursday morning to the sitein southeast South Korea.

At about 8:10 a.m. local time (2310 GMT Wednesday), trucks ofthe U.S. forces carrying four mobile launchers and other elements,such as a power-supplying machine, passed by anti-THAAD protestersstanding beside the village hall of Soseong-ri in Seongju county,North Gyeongsang province.

The trucks were trailed by other vehicles carrying constructionequipment and materials.

With the additional deployment and construction works, the THAADbattery in South Korea, which will be operated by the U.S. ForcesKorea (USFK), would be in full operation.

The protesters were blocked by about 8,000 riot policemen ofSouth Korea. From around midnight, the policemen launched amaneuver to break up some 400 peace activists and residents livingin Seongju and the Gimcheon city that borders the county.

The violent attempt to disperse the anti-THAAD civilians injuredalmost 30 people, taking them to a nearby hospital, according tolocal media reports.

After the passage of the trucks, one granny said with tearfuleyes that she had "nothing to say" about the nighttime delivery.Some of the protesters shed tears, with others cursing the currentgovernment.

The residents and peace activists have held candlelight ralliesevery night since Seoul and Washington announced the plan toinstall one THAAD battery in July last year.

On April 26, two launchers and other THAAD elements weretransported in the middle of night to the former golf course atSoseong-ri village in the Seongju county.

During the April 26 transportation, a physical clash occurredbetween police and protesters. On his campaign trail, PresidentMoon Jae-in also condemned the violent transportation.

Seoul's defense ministry said Wednesday evening that theremaining THAAD factors would be delivered to Soseong-ri withinThursday.

The ministry said the further deployment was aimed to tacklerising nuclear and missile threats from the Democratic People'sRepublic of Korea (DPRK).

President Moon ordered the temporary installation of the U.S.missile shield following Pyongyang's test in late July of what theDPRK claimed was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM),which is not a direct threat to Seoul as an ICBM refers to aballistic missile with a range of at least 5,500 km.

Moon's office said the final decision on the U.S. missiledefense system would be made after a general green audit ends. Theaudit was forecast to take at least six months.

The DPRK's nuclear threat cannot be protected by THAAD, said afemale university student, who voluntarily joined the anti-THAADmoves and made a free speech after the passage of the U.S.trucks.

She expressed her wish to live in a peaceful country, stressingthat peace cannot be achieved by a war weapon and warning THAADwould impede peace on the Korean Peninsula.

THAAD cannot protect Seoul and its suburban metropolitan area asthe U.S. missile shield is deployed at a location some 300 km awayfrom the capital city. THAAD interceptors are known to have amaximum interception range of 200 km.

The U.S. anti-missile system is designed to shoot down incomingmissiles at an altitude of 40-150 km. DPRK missiles and artilleryshells targeting South Korea fly at an altitude of less than 40km.

Neighboring countries, including China and Russia, have stronglyopposed the THAAD deployment in South Korea as it breaks regionalstrategic balance and damages security interests of the twocountries. THAAD's radar can peer deep into the Chinese and Russianterritories.

The X-band radar is known to emit super microwave, detrimentalto human body and environment. South Korea's environment ministrysaid its potential damage would be slight, but anti-THAAD civiliansbelieved that the ministry's measurement was distorted as it wasmeasured when the THAAD was not in full operation. Enditem

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