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South Korea election

Yoon's pledge to boost THAAD missile system risks China reprisal

South Korea's president-elect faces choice of getting tough or appeasing Beijing

South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol has pledged to deploy another THAAD battery in the country. (Source photos by U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency/Reuters) 

SEOUL -- In Seongju, a farming village a few hours south of Seoul, residents have been protesting since 2017 the hosting of a missile defense system in their community, saying it was deployed without their consent and could make the rural area a target for North Korean missiles.

In late February, as the closely fought presidential campaign was reaching peak intensity, local residents held rallies and physically blocked off roads to disrupt efforts by U.S. Forces Korea to remodel buildings on the site.

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