South Korea to mobilize thousands of police at THAAD site

Sept. 5 (UPI) — South Korea is mobilizing 8,000 police ahead of the deployment of four additional THAAD launchers, or 2,000 more than the number of law enforcement officers called up during the first round of deployment.

The decision comes after North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sunday, and a Seoul court dismissed an application from activists who oppose THAAD, demanding the suspension of a land grant to the United States military in Korea.

Yonhap reported Tuesday Seoul has decided to deploy 8,000 officers in order to “minimize physical clashes with people who opposed THAAD.”

South Korea had deployed 6,000 police on April 26, when two THAAD launchers were delivered to Seongju, central South Korea.

The first launchers began to be transported to the former golf course at 4 a.m., and the deployment was not made public, possibly in order to minimize encounters with anti-THAAD activists.

The placement of additional THAAD launchers, which is to happen in the near future, is expected to bring about 400-500 civic protesters to the site, including members of the Won Buddhism sect.

Park Hee-joo, an anti-THAAD activist representing a group from nearby Gimcheon, North Gyeongsang Province, said he is ready for confrontation.

“If members of young citizen groups and local residents block the road, even five police officers will have a hard time restraining one person,” Park said.

Another group of 395 activists have requested the cancellation of a land grant decision that would give U.S. Forces Korea control over the THAAD site, News 1 reported.

The request was dismissed in a South Korean administrative court on Tuesday.

The court cited USFK’s “exclusive right” to use the site, as granted, and stated no South Korean citizen would be allowed to enter the site once the right is given to the U.S. army, according to News 1.

“It is land necessary for military purposes, and not for public use,” the court stated.


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