Over 900 residents of Seongju stage a public demonstration. President Park defends the program, and calls on Pyongyang to "stop provocations". The judgment of the bishops.
Seoul (AsiaNews) - More than 900 residents of the area of Seongju have shaved their heads to protest the decision to build the THAAD, anti-missile system that should defend the country from the North's attacks. The protest leader, Kim An-soo, says: "This is our strongest protest. We can not do more". In total, 908 people shaved their heads: in Korean culture - and in East Asia in general – a shaved scalp is the prerogative of the monks or those condemned to death.
The residents of the county, for most growers of a particular and very famous type of melon, remained silent during shaving. All that could be heard was a chorus that said "No to Thaad". Yoo Ji-won, 63, says: "It is not just about the selected site. The THAAD simply should not be built in South Korea”.
On 13 July, 2016 the government announced that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system will be built in Seongju by the end of 2017. This is intended to counter threats from North Korea and It will have the ability to defend two-thirds of the South Korean peninsula from North Korean missiles. It will also protect industrial zones, nuclear power plants and fuel depots. The bishops of the country have spoken out against the plan, which is likely to exacerbate tensions between the two nations.
The South Korean government defends its agreement with the United States. Speaking on the occasion of the Liberation Day (from Japanese rule), marked on August 15 in many Asian nations, the President Park Geun-hye said: "I call on the government of the North to immediately stop any provocation and threat, as well as the development of weapons of mass destruction. True liberation will only happen with the reunification of the peninsula, but this in turn is possible only if you eliminate the fear of war".