21 February 2018
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  • » 06/26/2017, 09.37


    Protests in Seoul against Thaad. US senators pressure Moon

    Thousands of South Korean people march in the capital to ask for the cancellation of the project days ahead of first official visit to the United States of the newly elected president. A group of Republican and Democrat senators ask Moon to keep the alliance's commitments. In a letter to Trump they deny the interference of the American anti-missile system on Chinese territory. They condemn China's threats of retaliation on South Korea.

    Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The United States's high-tech anti-missile defense system (Thaad) that the US wants to activate in South Korea is a serious stumbling block in the dialogue between the two countries after President Moon Jae-in questioned the project approved by his predecessor.

    Two days ago, thousands of South Koreans flocked to downtown Seoul to ask Moon to deny permission to US President Donald Trump when he meets him in the next few days in Washington on his first official visit to the United States. But at the same time comes the news that both Republicans and Democrats believe the project is the necessary condition for maintaining the US-South Korean partnership.

    "The anti-missile shield is not necessary for the defense of the Korean peninsula and should be canceled," the 3,000 demonstrators of Seoul Plaza said, ending the protest by besieging the United States embassy in a peaceful manner. The rally was set in view of the first Moon-Trump Summit to be held from June 29 to 30. A meeting that will strengthen trade relations and cover the implementation of the Thaad (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence).

    Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of US senators in an open letter by President Trump invited him to use the next summit with South Korean President to firmly reaffirm the alliance and speed up the full deployment of Thaad. These are 18 senators led by Republican Sens Cory Gardner and Democrat Bob Menendez. The letter arrived after another group of 19 senators had submitted a resolution on the importance of Moon's visit. The resolution and the letter underline the high interest the United States in this summit. The senators have asked for the full deployment of the anti-missile battery. In fact, only two of the six Thaad launchers have been installed since the South suspended the implementation of the remaining four pending an environmental review.

    "We ask you to reiterate to President Moon," reads Trump's letter, " that the decision to deploy THAAD was an alliance decision, and protects both U.S. troops and millions of South Korean citizens, while not posing any threat to South Korea's neighbors,. "The obvious reference is to China threatening retaliation against South Korea if it hosts Thaad. According to Beijing, the powerful Thaad radar system serves to spy on Chinese military infrastructure as well. 

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    See also

    17/05/2017 14:38:00 KOREA
    Moon Jae-in in favour of dialogue with Kim Jong-un

    South Korea’s new president differs from Donald Trump, who wants tighter sanctions. Seoul does not want to pay for the US THAAD anti-missile radar system. Since the latter can monitor Chinese territory, China has imposed economic sanctions on South Korean companies.

    31/10/2017 09:16:00 SOUTH KOREA - CHINA
    Seoul and Beijing resume 'normal' relations

    Relations had deteriorated due to installation of Thaad anti-missile system. Beijing had boycotted flights, tourism, South Korean retail products. The resumption of communications takes place on the eve of Trump's trip to Asia. 

    08/06/2017 09:43:00 KOREA
    Pyongyang launches new missiles. Moon blocks Thaad development

    The missiles launched today are not subject to the UN ban. They could hit "big ships". Further deployment of the US anti-missile system blocked for ecological reasons. Anti-Thaad protests in Seongju. Seoul is willing to continue intercultural relations with NGOs and charitable and religious organizations, but Pyongyang rejects them.

    10/08/2017 18:52:00 KOREA – UNITED STATES
    US-North Korean tensions boost THAAD

    Seoul postponed an environmental survey of the advanced US missile defense system. South Korean military had failed to inform President Moon Jae-in that THAAD launchers had already been delivered. A presidential official downplays the mutual threats between Kim and Trump, which are multipurposed.

    07/09/2017 10:24:00 CHINA-US-KOREA
    Xi Jinping and Trump in joint condemnation of Pyongyang nuclear test

    The nuclear test is "a provocative and destabilizing action", "dangerous to the world" and is not in Pyongyang's best interests. North Ambassador to the UN: The test is "a gift package to the US". Four more  Thaad anti-missile launchers installed, angering Beijing and Moscow.

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