SEONGJU -- Residents living near the US military's new missile defense base on the Korean Peninsula confronted police officers on Sunday, the police said.
Residents and activists have been blocking the transport of construction materials and equipment into the THAAD site in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, for months, citing concerns that the military will expand helipads and other facilities associated with military operations in the compound.
The Gyeongbuk Provincial Police Agency said 30 Seongju residents and activists stood face to face with police officers starting around 6:40 p.m. Sunday. No violence was reported.
|Protestors on Sunday gathered to oppose the deployment of US anti-missile battery in in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province. Yonhap|
"We have deployed some police officers to block illegal acts, as some illegal acts have been continuing by a number of Seongju residents and members of some activist groups over the THAAD issue," said a police officer who asked not to be named.
Earlier, the Ministry of National Defense stressed the urgency of improving the living conditions of hundreds of American and South Korean troops there who do not have adequate amenities.
Last year, the US installed six THAAD launchers at the site, along with a powerful X-band radar station and a fire control and communications unit, in a bid to counter North Korea's missile and nuclear threats. The THAAD battery was immediately put into operation.
THAAD stands for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense. (Yonhap)