Angry South Koreans Oppose US Missile Defense Deployment

Villagers See US Presence Putting Them in the Line of Fire

The agricultural area around Seongju is deeply conservative, and historically very supportive of the US military presence in South Korea and hostility against the north. These days, however, the locals are out in force, yelling “yankee, go home” and displaying banners panning US militarism.

So what happened? The THAAD, America’s missile defense system, is being deployed in the area, which being far south of the capital of Seoul had long considered itself very distance from any potential war. With the presence of THAAD, they are now part of the front lines, and almost certainly an early target if a war breaks out.

That, paired with growing international concern that President Trump might well attack North Korea at any moment, precipitating such a war, is making the situation look a lot different for local farmers. A mass deployment of South Korean police to crack down on their protests also isn’t sitting well.

But perhaps the most galling aspect of the whole thing was President Trump’s suggestion that South Korea should be made to pay for the THAAD system, which they don’t want in the first place. Obviously this isn’t happening, but the very suggestion just added to the idea that this is America’s war of choice being imposed on the Korean Peninsula.

This is a problem that a number of politicians, including Presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in, have been complaining about for awhile. Growing awareness of the problem among locals across South Korea seems like it will further push the government against the Trump Administration’s talk of action.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • eric

    I certainly don’t blame South Korea for being upset when United States says they might have to attack N Korea because they soon might be able to fire a missile all the way to North America .. Well N korea can’t do that yet but fore sure they could fire missiles into South Korea and maybe kill several million South Koreans . Trump is right if we want to control N korea we definitely should talk to China and see what they have to say about this idea . I don’t believe South Korea or China will give their blessing to the United States for a bombing of N Korea . You do know that China is with Russia in helping Syria put down a terrorist attack against Syria . And Russia and China might agree to help each other to stop a bombing attack against N Korea too .I suspect China and Russia could right today send plenty of missiles to .the United States tomorrow if they thought it was necessary to prevent a bigger war over in there countries .

    • EAGLE

      Great Anti-America article Jason Ditz as usual you do the best slanted and biased reporting when it comes to the serious issue of the NK regime and it’s allies.Just one sentence about the constant threats it sends to the South no mention of the South Korean ship it sank years ago and nothing about the rhetoric Lil Kim himself spews about destroying America and it’s allies with nukes it’s trying to develop.Just an article about how pissed the people who Lil Kim is vowing to destroy are about the missile defense system that’ll be used to prevent there annihilation…Hahaha what a joke.How bout you do some real stories like how Russian bombers and 2 SU-35 fighter jets where escorted out of America ‘s ADIZ by good ole USA F-22’s but,you won’t because this whole sit is biased except,one article written not by this site about a judgement call made by US military that saved civilians lives.Hey but if anyone wants to see what I’m talking about go to that post about it and scroll down to the Russian bomber story….Jason Ditz keep up the good work I wonder who funds this site could it be foreign donors say from Russia.O and pray that China won’t take the opportunity to become the world’s largest super power when Russia and America go to war…What the idiots on this site say NATO will desolve if war pops off with Russia.I’m not the smartest man in the world but wasn’t NATO formed and tailor made for war with Russia keep dreaming just like Putin dreams of a place on the world stage.USA

      • Tecumseh1768

        If you leave now you can personally take out Lil Kim before the shooting starts.

      • wars r u.s.

        Why don’t you go elsewhere? Maybe some idiotic pro war echo chamber.

      • eric

        Eagle I don’t think you have been keeping up with the changes that have taken place over the last 30 years or so . United States and the EU are attempting to impose their new World orders on the rest of the world .The NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION NATO should have disbaned when communism and the Soviet Union collapsed . Russia now is the most Christian country in Europe . NATO has changed to become the North American terrorist organization and is bent on imposing the NWO on ever one in the world with the United States furnishing the airforce for Al Qaedia like we did in Yugoslavia , Libya and now Syria . The Islamic terrorists do the fighting and the United States does the bombing . Both the Islamic terrorists and the NWO bombers are hoping to rule the world . This is what many of the people on this website believe . So they are Anti war people like former Texas senator Ron Paul . We are not pro Russian or communists or against the United States we just think we see what has been going on and wish to stop it

      • sambor71

        One thing you said is correct Eagle; you’re not the smartest man in the world. Far from it. Very far from it. You might want to think about the obvious fact the South Koreans are a lot closer to the situation and they are far from being a stupid people. They also have an economy some 40 times what the North has. Should the SK decide the North is a real problem, they can deal with it.

        You also error in your implied claim to be a patriot. You aren’t. You are clueless as to what that is.

        • Luchorpan

          I agree with you but wish to add that NK does have a formidable military. It would be difficult for SK to deal with that. However, Japan is right there… Japan could lend a hand, repairing relations in the process.

      • Luchorpan

        This article is not “anti-American”.

        Americans are the people who actually live in America. Our interests are not served by meddling in the Koreas. The warring is what is bankrupting the US.

        If you cared a whit about Americans, you’d demand all troops be returned home, all of them. And you’d insist war be declared by Congress before sending troops out again.

  • eric

    South Koreans are the third people that I have heard complaining about Having missiles bases in their country . The others were the Czechs and Romanians …… The people seem to think these bases could become primary 1st targets in the event a war should break out . Russia and China refused to let the NAZIs just come in unopposed and I’am pretty sure the feel this exact same way about NATO .

  • Neuromancer

    The South Koreans will learn, if they do not already know, how pointless their protests are.

    • JimBass56

      Yep, ask the Okinawans

    • nhmakingwaves

      The US won’t listen, but they’re not part of the US. They will elect a leader that won’t put up with this stuff. As you’ve probably read there is a strong candidate ready to surge.

      • Eileen Kuch

        Heck, the US never listens, even to its own citizens, much less, those of other countries (in this case, South Korea). At least, the S. Koreans have the opportunity to elect a president who won’t put up with this nonsense. I’ve already read an article stating there’s already a strong anti-THAAD candidate ready to surge.
        I side with the South Koreans in this case .. I don’t blame them one bit for protesting against the deployment of a missile defense system that won’t protect them in the event of war with North Korea. Yes, THAAD’s useless against supersonic missiles; mainly, because the system’s too slow acting. It doesn’t even stop artillery shells from devastating Seoul. The North Koreans already tested their artillery pieces the other day and they worked perfectly.
        It would behoove the USA to take down this worthless THAAD system .. It certainly isn’t efficient enough to stop any missiles that may be launched from either N. Korea or China, or both.

  • wars r u.s.

    Hard to feel sorry for them is they were supportive of the US military presence until now. What did they expect? If you allow a foreign country to supply your defense, this s**t is bound to happen.

    • They’re very poor. Korean agriculture has been decimated by bad trade deals. They thought troop populations would supplement their flagging economy. It has but it has also created a major increase in crime (especially rape) and pollution. They didn’t know what they were getting into. They were duped. But now they’re awake and they’re f**king pissed.

      • John_Smith001

        They were very poor, aside from bad neighbors and bad house guests South Korea is probably nicer than the USA.

        • America is the wealthiest country on earth. The wealthy can only exist if they have the poor to serve them. It’s the savage predator nature of capitalism. There are poor people here in America and there are poor people in Korea. Many in both countries are farmers.

      • wars r u.s.

        It did say they were also supported of our “hostility towards the north” . I take that as them looking at our presence as more than just an economic boon.

    • John_Smith001

      They didn’t have much choice in the forties and the fifties, but they really don’t have much excuse for the last couple of decades.