Korea to place anti-missile system in Seongju. The people protest

The residents of the area chosen for the installation of the THAAD ask the government to reconsider. Moscow and Beijing "disgruntled" by the decision, Pyongyang threatens' physical response". The system will be operational by the end of 2017.


Seoul (AsiaNews) - The advanced US missile defense system in South Korea will be built in the Seongju region, about 200 kilometers southeast of Seoul. This was confirmed this morning, by the South Korean Defense Ministry, announcing the agreement reached between the Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and his counterpart Han Min-Koo.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which aims to counter threats from North Korea, will be completed by the end of 2017, added Seoul, and will have the ability to defend two-thirds of the South Korean peninsula from Pyongyang's  missiles. It will also protect industrial zones, nuclear power plants and fuel depots.

North Korea, China and Russia are all against the decision. Pyongyang has threatened a "physical response" to the deployment of the system - which detects impending threats and is activated automatically - while Beijing has expressed "doubts" about the decision, which "could be aimed at also controlling our arsenal." Moscow, for its part, said that the decision "will increase the tension in the area." But many analysts believe that the real motives against the system is a fear of increased American hegemony in East Asia.

There are even protests in South Korea. The inhabitants of the area chosen for the installation, contrary to Thaad and the inevitable presence of Korean and American military personnel, demonstrated in front of government headquarters and outside the US embassy in Seoul demanding the reopening of dialogue between North Korea and South Korea. Among other things, President Park Geun-hye, had promised during the election campaign that he would "do everything" to limit the presence of US soldiers on the peninsula.