Saturday Demonstrations in Gwanghwamun: from Impeachment to THAAD

The Saturday demonstrations in Korea have not ended with the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, but rather have shifted their focus to the THAAD missile defense system which has been rushed through without proper approval during the period of the impeachment.


THAAD is a more difficult problem to resolve than is impeachment and the situation will not get easier if the Trump administration insists on these constant military drills and weapons testings and refuses any diplomatic interaction with North Korea. As I suggested in my previous article, the hard part comes after impeachment. I do hope the Koreans can remain level headed and keep their eyes on their long-term interests. Unfortunately, Koreans tend to be so emotional that they can only disagree, only say “no” when they are swept up in anger. Unlike the Japanese who are better able to say “no” while appearing to say “yes.” Take the example of Koizumi Junichiro’s visit to George W. Bush’s ranch in Texas and the tremendous pro-Bush love fest right before Japan pulled out of Iraq.


Here are a few photographs from today’s protests.


2017.03.25 thaad

3 responses to “Saturday Demonstrations in Gwanghwamun: from Impeachment to THAAD

  1. Craig March 25, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    All of this assumes that the US is the problem, and not NK.

  2. Emanuel Pastreich March 25, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    I am assuming that although North Korea is a danger and increasingly a threat, that the United States is not engaged in actions aimed to reduce that threat. THAAD is not useful against the use of missiles from North Korea against South Korea and there are plenty of other ways for North Korea to attack without using missiles at all. In fact, although the danger of a nuclear attack is all over the newspapers, the odds of North Korea doing so, even if it had the technology, is close to zero. The US must engage in active diplomacy and work with China to reach an agreement for North Korea to reduce its military activities in return for the US reducing its offensive drills and also for the US stepping in and asking Japan not to develop offensive weapons aimed at North Korea. As long at the US does not engage in diplomacy, escalates military drills and presents no vision for a peaceful future–refuses to cooperate with China on security issues and refuses to engage in talks with North Korea, yet, I will say without any hesitation that the United States is NOT the only source of the problems, but it is a primary source.

  3. Donald Kirk March 25, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Trouble is N.Korea doesn’t want to talk about its nukes and missiles, and China isn’t exercising as much pressure as it might. Hopefully we’ll never know if THAAD is effective or not — that is, let’s hope N. Korea doesn’t fire a missile this way, and THAAD never has to fire a counter-missile in response. As for whether U.S. is “a primary source,” you might say that’s because U.S. has troops, forces here. (And who said the U.S. wasn’t willing to “engage in diplomacy”?)

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