Park: THADD Placement in Korea

Park: THADD Placement in Korea

By Chan Kyu

Since the Korean War, Korea has been divided into North and South Korea for more than 50 years. North Korea became a communist country. South Korea has been supported by the United States, and it has accepted capitalism. The relationship between the north and south is in a ceasefire mode, which means the war is not over, and it could restart without warning. Due to these tensions, the placement of THADD in South Korea has been dealt as a crucial factor against surrounding nations.

THADD is an abbreviation for terminal high-altitude area defense missile, which means to shoot down other missiles or fighter planes in the air. This would be a helpful weapon for both South Korea and the U.S. because, with THADD, South Korea will be able to shoot down missiles from the North. However, this is just a theoretical guess of the ability that THADD has. The accuracy rate of THADD has not been proven yet, and many experts and military officials are worried about THADD’s capabilities. If THADD cannot shoot down the missiles aimed at South Korea, there is no use of having it there. However, the potential of THADD is still significant. This is largely because THADD can gather information from China through the radar, and it enables the U.S. to know about military movements in China.

China is contrary to the placement of THADD in South Korea. Also, China has been expected to act with strong confrontation if THADD is placed in South Korea. This can cause major damage for Korea since Korea earns a profit by exporting products to other countries, and China is one of the big markets that import a tremendous number of Korean products. As a result, South Korea and China have formed an FTA (Free Trade Agreement) to gain more efficiency in trades. However, if China decides it is not satisfied with THADD being placed in Korea, the relationship between both nations could be harmed. The placement of THADD is meant to protect South Korea and its citizens, but THADD itself might be harmful to citizens in other ways.

As mentioned earlier, the purpose of THADD is for the protection of the citizens of South Korea. However, there are some worries the radioactivity could be harmful for the people residing near THADD. Even though this has not yet been confirmed, people near it are worried. The fear of radiation has increased tremendously in Korea after the tsunami in Japan.

People located near THADD are not only in danger of radiation. North Korea and other countries like China will not be happy having THADD in South Korea. Therefore, if war breaks out between North and South Korea, the location of THADD will most likely to be targeted for bombing. This could be life-threatening to nearby citizens. The possibilities of being bombed are not only high when war occurs, but North Korea could attack at any time for no reason. It has happened in Yeonpyeaongdo, Incheon.

As a divided nation, war weapons being placed in the country are an essential factor to contain the enemy. However, the government should think wisely and needs to consider other nations to place the weapon in so as not to disturb and harm others or form negative atmospheres for its people.

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