South Korean Masses Try to Prevent Unloading of U.S. Rocket Launchers

September 10, 2017

An extensive protest against U.S. Thaad deployment in South Korea broke out on September 6th and 7th.

Skulking in the face of the mass opposition to U.S. Thaad deployment, United States Pacific Command recognized the inevitability of confrontation with the people. The tactic it employed was to cover the military equipment being delivered in black sheets.

The transport of the equipment was facilitated by thousands of South Korean police officers. The police, equipped in riot gear, converged on the 400 people that were mobilized to occupy the road leading to the Thaad missile deployment site in the town of Seongju. However the civilians refused to retreat and clashes between them and the police endured for many hours.

According to South Korea's Defense Ministry four additional rocket launchers were added on Thursday to the two that were already operational. If the results of tests are positive, this latest delivery will complete the deployment of all six of the Thaad's rocket launchers.

The 30-40 people injured as a result of the police crackdown last week were the latest in a growing series of political mobilizations directed against U.S. militarization of South Korea.

The deployment of the Thaad battery in Seongju is the latest phase in U.S. imperialism's militarization of the globe under the signboard of a “nationwide missile defense program.” In May 1999, for the first time, the National Defense Authorization Act directed the Secretary of Defense to begin creation of a blueprint for the establishment and operation of Theater Missile Defense (TMD) for the Asia-Pacific region, with the cooperation of Taiwan, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Since the 1990s, the Democrats and Republicans have collaborated on this program based on their bipartisan agreement that TMD is a vital part of the U.S. military strategy of “peace through strength,” including calls for a first-strike, “preemptive” nuclear attack against non-nuclear countries.

The U.S. government is keeping its network of high-tech radars, missile interceptors, and nuclear warheads at the ready and honing them in order to protect the empire of the U.S. multi-national corporations, which plunder the resources and super-exploit the labor of peoples throughout the world. To control sources of raw materials, maintain its regional spheres of influence and domination and protect its investments, U.S. imperialism relies, in the final analysis, on military might – including its program of nuclear blackmail.

As the first and biggest nuclear power, U.S. imperialism has repeatedly used nuclear weapons as an instrument of its aggressive foreign policy. Not only did the U.S. drop atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki but it has also repeatedly threatened other countries and peoples with nuclear war and annihilation. Today, as U.S. imperialism increasingly relies on its conventional and nuclear military power to project its interests throughout the world, it continues to fall back on the methods of nuclear blackmail and demonization of others.

The only purpose of the military machine of the capitalist ruling class of the U.S. is to assert and maintain its domination of the working class at home and its enslavement of other nations around the world.

The only way to oppose the militarism and aggression of the capitalist ruling class of the U.S. is through the mass struggle of the working class and people against the capitalist class and the government. To finally put an end to U.S. imperialism's systematic use of nuclear blackmail against the workers and oppressed nations and peoples of the world, we must completely overthrow the capitalist class and build a real anti-war government – a government which adheres to the voice and program of the people.