Thousands of members of an estimated total of over radical groups, including Minju Nochong (Korean Confederation of Trade Unions) and Chamyeo Yeondae (People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy), gathered at the Gwanghwamun Square in front of the Capitol Building in Seoul on June 24, 2017, and staged demonstrations encircling the United States Embassy in protest against the deployment of THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) batteries in Korea.
Reports indicate that they encircled the US Embassy for19 minutes chanting and hoisting slogans reading, “Do you call this an ally? Take back your THAAD!” Some slogans even read, “Do you call this an ally? Leave Korea with your THAAD!”
Some of the organizing groups were those who staged the candle vigils during the anti-Park Geun-hye demonstrations which eventually brought about the end of the discredited Park government.
The demonstrators even shot a laser beam to the US Embassy wall demanding, “No THAAD!”
It appeared that the radical demonstrators were demanding to the Moon Government to heed their demand as they helped Moon in toppling the government of former President Park Geun-hye. The demonstration ended without any physical clashes or damages but in a somewhat peaceful atmosphere. No violence or accident was reported after rally.
However, experts express a great extent of concern over the fact that the embassy of the closest ally of the Republic of Korea was encircled.
The United States is the only staunch ally of the Republic of Korea in the face of continuously growing threats of aggression from North Korea who is incessantly developing nuclear weapons and other sophisticated weapons.
THAAD at present is the sole means of defense of the Republic of Korea as well as the US Forces in Korea from the threat of North Korean armed offensive.
In fact, reports indicate that the North Korean nuclear weapons development make it comparative for the ROK and the US to even upgrade their defense capability in addition to the THAAD to effective shield themselves from the North Korean nuclear offensive.
In this situation, THAAD in Korea is the least possible measure of self-defense for the ROK and the US against the ever-growing nuclear threat of the North.
Strangely, China who outwardly chants peace and lukewarmly warns against North Korean nuclear weapons development, is brining heavy measures on the Korean businesses in China obviously in retaliation against the US THAAD development in Korea.
Lotte business organizations of South Korea in China are reportedly the hardest hit. The Seongju area near Daegu, previously a golf course, where the US THAAD missiles are deployed, had originally belonged to Lotte although the land, later, was sold to the government for the US THAAD battery site.
Chosun Ilbo, a leading Korean-language daily in Seoul, recently openly questioned: “In disregard this development, there is no radical Korean labor organization that says anything in protest of this situation!”
The demonstrators are radical ones in nature and are very limited in number compared with the 15 million people who gathered to topple the discredited government of former President Park Geun-hye.
However, one wonders how President Donald Trump and the American people in general, for that matter, would view this development in Seoul?
Just imagine, the Korean Embassy in Washington or Tokyo were encircled by demonstrators chanting anti- Korean slogans!
According to reports, the Korean trade union, Minju Nochong, reportedly has put aside eight days from June 28 to July 8 as a period of “General Social Strike” and is planning a large mass rally in Seoul on June 30. Earlier, several thousands of members of the construction union seized streets in the heart of Seoul staging demonstrations.
According to reports, the radical labor groups are doing so to create an atmosphere favorable to hosting a rally mass rally and a general strike in opposition against the US THAAD development.
In fact, South Korea needs, or rather desperately should seek, to develop adequate defense measures against continuously increasing threat of aggression from North Korea.
Many Korean experts assert that even THAAD will not be sufficient to defend South Korea from the North Korean attack and recommend that the Seoul government should try to build up dependable a defense system in addition to the US THAAD in Korea so that she could effectively defend herself from ever-growing threat of aggression of the North with continuously improving weapons of mass destruction against the South.
The radical labor groups staging anti-THAAD demonstrations in Seoul are obviously making it difficult for President Moon when he wants to further develop the bilateral relations with the US as the new President of Korea.