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Locals protest as U.S. moves T.H.A.A.D. to S. Korean site

Apr 26, 2017, 7:29 AM EDT
The first elements of T.H.A.A.D. arrive in South Korea.
(Source: UNC - CFC - USFK/flickr)

With a vigilant watch on North Korea’s missile and nuclear expansion programs, the U.S. began moving its contentious Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), an anti-missile defense system, to a South Korean site prompting huge protests from hundreds of locals on Wednesday.

China, Pyongyang’s closest ally, has been at odds with Washington over the advanced missile defense system, which it argues, could disturb power equation and destabilize regional peace and security, writes the BBC.

Angered locals rallied overnight and reportedly hurled water bottles at the vehicles that were moving the equipment, notes Reuters. A spokesperson for Moon Jae-in, the frontrunner in South Korea’s presidential election, demanded the suspension of this deployment till the new government is in place to make its policy changes and claimed that the deployment "ignored public opinion and due process."

The development came as China launched its first indigenous aircraft carrier to beef up its own security amid growing tensions in the Korean peninsula.