South Korea to deploy additional Thaad launchers likely next week

On Monday, activists also launched protests outside the US embassy in Seoul.

USA military helicopters have been transporting equipment to South Korea’s THAAD site for two days, following a brief confrontation between local protesters and South Korea police trying to facilitate passage of US military vehicles this week.

The Yonhap news agency reports the incident happened on Monday Aug. 28 in the country’s central Seongju County.

USA military vehicles were making their way to the THAAD site for the first time since April 26, when the two missile defense launchers were deployed. The vehicles were transporting a South Korean officer working under USFK in addition to two U.S. Forces Korean soldiers. The letter stated that the temporary THAAD deployment was “unavoidable for a priority response to the North Korean threat”.

Protests are also growing outside the USA embassy compound in Seoul. There are two launchers and a powerful radar already deployed and in operation in Seongju, but the new Moon Jae-in administration had suspended further rollout, citing the need for a thorough environmental impact survey. “A temporary deployment means temporarily installing THAAD in open terrain with minimal preparations based on a small-scale environmental impact assessment, as opposed to completing the deployment after a general environmental impact assessment and the building of a permanently infrastructure”, it explained.

The spokesman’s remarks are apparently directed at Japan’s effort to deploy the Aegis Ashore system and South Korea’s move to speed up the deployment of remaining THAAD launchers in the wake of the North’s launch of a ballistic missile that flew over Japan earlier this week.

The site was once a golf course owned by Lotte, a South Korean conglomerate that may have been the target of recent Chinese embargoes.

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