Park defends missile shield
SOUTH Korea’s president defended the proposed deployment of a United States anti-missile system as an act of self-defence against North Korea, as hundreds of residents shaved their heads in protest against the plan yesterday.
Tensions have been running high on the divided Korean peninsula since the North carried out its fourth nuclear test in January and followed up with a series of missile tests.
South Korea responded by announcing deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system – a move which sparked domestic protests as well as complaints from China.
“I urge the North Korean government to immediately stop all provocations and threats targeting South Korea as well as the development of weapons of mass destruction,” said President Park Geun-hye in a Liberation Day speech on Aug 15.
Her comments came as both Koreas celebrated the anniversary of the peninsula’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945.
Stressing that “true liberation” would involve reunification of the peninsula, Ms Park said that could only happen by removing the fear of nuclear weapons, missiles and war.
She also warned those in the North that all attempts to provoke and intimidate the South would be counter-productive.
“The more efforts [North Korea] makes, the deeper the country’s isolation in the international community will be and the bigger its economic problems,” she said. –
More than 900 Seongju residents have their heads shaved during a protest against the planned deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system, at a local park on August 15.