新国家党抗议部署"萨德" 星州郡对朴槿惠爱意不再
2016-07-25 10:21:42

In THAAD deployment area, the love for Park Geun-hye is gone

新国家党抗议部署"萨德" 星州郡对朴槿惠爱意不再


Residents in conservative stronghold supported Park for her family ties, but now feel betrayed.


The city of Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province are in turmoil. President Park Geun-hye’s decision to deploy the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) antimissile system has shattered the once sleepy melon farms of Seongju County.


Two days before announcing the THAAD deployment, President Park brought Daegu residents the good news that the Daegu military airport would be relocated. But what is good news for Daegu is bound to be bad news for whatever other place will have to host the military airport instead. The small county of Gunwi in North Gyeongsang Province - which is already being discussed as a possible site for the airport - is in an uproar.


On July 17 and 18, Hankyoreh reporters visited the Daegu and North Gyeongsang area, traditionally conservative strongholds, to take the pulse of local feelings about Park’s shifting policies.


“We adore Park Geun-hye, but I want to cut off the finger I voted for her with.”


“We hear it all,” said Lee Chung-hwan, 54, leader of Chwigok No. 2 Village, in Seongju County, North Gyeongsang Province, on July 17, as he pointed to the Seongsan Antiaircraft Battery, where THAAD is to be deployed. “We hear them shouting ‘one, two, three’ during their morning gymnastics, and we hear them telling such-and-such a corporal to report to the office.”

54岁的Lee Chung-hwan是庆尚北道星州郡Chwigok第二村的村长,他指着“萨德”系统的选址城山防空炮台说:“我们听得清清楚楚,能听见他们出早操时喊‘一、二、三’,听见他们喊某个下士去办公室报道。”

Seongsan Hawk Missile Battery is on top of Seongsan Hill, at an elevation of 383 meters. The battery is about 100 meters up from the village. In the past, the people of the village would climb up to the battery three or more times a day to chop wood, Lee said.


The air defense base was built around 40 years ago, and the locals have grown up with the sound of the bugle early in the morning and the sound of the radar dish turning. If THAAD is deployed there will clearly be noise of a different magnitude from the various sounds to which villagers have grown accustomed.


The fact that THAAD is being deployed right in front of the village of all places is the first reason that the people of Seongju are angry. Elderly residents at the community center were unable to suppress their frustration. “Seongju adores Park Geun-hye, [but now] I want to cut off the finger I voted for her with. I mean it!” said one. “Gimhae stole the new international airport, and now what’s this about THAAD?” another said.


Whether rich or poor, everyone in Seongju depends on the melon business, and every day the county is abuzz with talk of the THAAD deployment. In the streets of Seongju Township and in the surrounding villages, placards are hung up that say, “There’s no such thing as an ideal place to deploy THAAD,” “Absolutely opposed to THAAD deployment in Seongju County,” and “We can’t hand down electromagnetic waves to our young people.” Stickers expressing opposition to THAAD were also hung up on the shops downtown.


Day in and day out, the central government is promoting THAAD’s safety, but residents are finding it hard to rest easy. Since Seongsan Hill, the proposed location of the battery, is south of Seongju Township, the townspeople would have to live looking every day at THAAD.


While the government claims that Seongju Township is safe because it is 1.5 km away from the battery and because the electromagnetic waves from the radar will be emitted at a five-degree incline from the top of the hill, townspeople don‘t believe what the government is saying.


“During a gathering, I watched a video about the stories of people who live near the X-band radar installations in Japan,” said Lee Jae-dong, president of the farmers’ association in Seongju County. “Some of the Japanese there say that the noise is driving them crazy. I think the government is lying to us. I believe what it says in the US army manual, not the lies that the Defense Ministry is telling us.”

星州郡农民协会会长Lee Jae-dong告诉记者:“在一次聚会时,我看过一个视频,它记录了住在X波段雷达设备附近的日本人的故事。一些日本人说噪音快把他们逼疯了。我觉得政府在对我们说谎。我相信美军手册中写的,而非国防部告诉我们的谎言。”

The US army manual states that the “no hazard” safe area for the THAAD radar is 3.6 km, but South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo told the National Assembly that “you don’t need to worry about electromagnetic waves at a distance of 100 meters.”


A girl to her grandfather in Seongju: “I can’t visit you anymore”


What makes Seongju residents even angrier about the government’s decision to deploy THAAD is its unilateral administrative approach. Even granting that the policy has to do with national defense, residents are baffled about how the government could decide to deploy the THAAD battery on the hill behind the town without any prior negotiations.


“You have to get a permit to build a house, don’t you? What gives them the right to build something this big without so much as a by-your-leave?” said a 69-year-old individual surnamed Bae, who spoke to the Hankyoreh at the community center in Seongwon No. 2 Village, Seonnam Township.


Residents are horrified at the very thought that the Seongju brand could switch from melons to THAAD.


“The day they announced THAAD, my six-year-old granddaughter in Gumi called me to say she wouldn‘t feel safe visiting my house anymore,” said Son Ho-taek, leader of Seongwon No. 2 Village. “As a grandparent, that’s just heartbreaking. My wife and I wept for a long time.”

一位名叫Son Ho-taek的村长说:“他们宣布部署‘萨德’系统那天,我住在龟尾市六岁的孙女给我打电话,说她以后来我家都没有安全感了。作为爷爷,我感到心都碎了。我和老伴哭了很长时间。”

During the 2012 presidential election, President Park received 86% of the vote in Seongju. This was the fourth highest percentage of the 23 cities and counties of North Gyeongsang Province. Locals strongly feel that Park has betrayed them - rather like a jilted lover.







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