World Bulletin / News Desk
Seoul and Washington this month announced they will deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in rural Seongju County -- nearly 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Seoul – before the end of next year.
Not only has the plan upset China and Russia as the United States continues to strengthen its regional influence, but domestic opponents have raised questions about the missile defense system’s efficacy while pointing to alleged negative health and environmental effects despite government attempts to debunk those fears.
“If there is any other way – other than the deployment of THAAD – to protect our people from North Korea's possible missile attacks, [those against THAAD should] make a proposal,” Park was quoted as suggesting by local news agency Yonhap during a National Security Council meeting.
An estimated 2,000 Seongju residents traveled to the South Korean capital Thursday in an effort to reaffirm their opposition to the deployment, which was decided without parliamentary approval.
“I have recently been receiving much criticism and resistance,” Park admitted. “But should the president waver in this situation, the country would become unstable.”
Earlier this week, North Korea fired three ballistic missiles into open water in defiance of United Nations resolutions barring the already heavily sanctioned state from such technology.
Pyongyang made clear via state media that its exercise was aimed at preparing a pre-emptive attack on targets in South Korea.