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Protesters injured as THAAD deployed

Protesters have clashed with police at a village in South Korea as components of a controversial system to guard against missiles from North Korea were deployed.

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Protesters injured as THAAD deployed

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Protesters have clashed with police at a village in South Korea as components of a controversial system to guard against missiles from North Korea were deployed.

More than 30 people were injured when police broke up a blockade of around 300 villagers and campaigners opposed to the THAAD missile defence system.



Why is the system being installed?

Because of the increasing tension sparked by North Korea’s nuclear activity.

Seoul is installing the four remaining launchers of the US anti-missile Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on a former golf course in the south.

Two launchers have already been deployed.


Is there international opposition to the system being installed?

Yes. The decision to deploy the THAAD system has drawn strong objections from China.

Beijing believes the radar could be used to look deeply into its territory and will also upset the regional security balance.


What about diplomacy?

According to a draft resolution seen by reporters, the United States wants the UN Security Council to:

  • impose an oil embargo on North Korea
  • ban its exports of textiles
  • ban the hiring of North Korean workers abroad
  • place an asset-freeze and travel ban on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

US President Donald Trump has urged China, North Korea’s biggest ally and trading partner, to do moreto rein in its neighbour.

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says he has an executive order ready for Trump to sign that would impose sanctions on any country that trades with Pyongyang.

He will action it if the UN does not put additional sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear tests.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in a phone call on Wednesday to “take further action with the goal of achieving the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” the White House said.

During their 45-minute phone call, Xi told the US president that the North Korean issue must be resolved through “dialogue and consultation”.


Do sanctions work, though?

Opinion is divided. They have so far done little to stop North Korea boosting its nuclear and missile capacity.

China and Russia have advocated a “freeze for freeze” plan, where the US and South Korea would stop major military exercises in exchange for North Korea halting its weapons programme.

However, neither side is willing to budge.

Why is the pressure increasing on North Korea?

Because Pyongyang carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test last Sunday.

Analysts say the test, along with a series of missile launches, show Pyongyang is close to achieving its goal of developing a powerful nuclear weapon that could reach the United States.

North Korea says it needs to develop its weapons to defend itself against what it sees as US aggression.


What they are saying

“President Xi would like to do something. We’ll see whether or not he can do it. But we will not be putting up with what’s happening in North Korea,” Donald Trump told reporters.