NEW YORK — “We need your help to stop THAAD,” Sounghye Kim, inset right, with translator Juyeon Rhee, told a meeting of 75 people at New York University April 13. ”That’s why I’ve come to the United States, because that’s where it’s from.” Kim was referring to Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, a high-powered radar and anti-missile battery that the U.S. military is currently installing in South Korea.
Kim, a Buddhist minister and co-chair of the Seongju Struggle Committee to Stop THAAD, was on a nine-city U.S. speaking tour. She showed videos of demonstrations of residents of Seongju and others protesting construction of the military installation. Above, 5,000 protested in Seongju March 18.
The Pentagon claims the anti-missile battery is needed to protect South Korea from attack from the North. North Korea says — correctly — that history shows the real war threat comes from Washington. Beijing sees THAAD as a spy station that violates China’s sovereignty.
Betsy Yoon, from Nodutdol, one of the sponsors of the meeting, pointed to Washington’s role in forcibly dividing Korea after World War II and waging war from 1950 to 1953. “The United States dropped more bombs on Korea than it dropped in the Pacific Theatre during all of World War II,” she said.
Washington has refused to sign a peace treaty with North Korea. The war’s effects are still felt today in the North and South. Most favor reunification.