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South Korea THAAD base receives new supplies amid protests

South Korea THAAD base receives new supplies amid protests
A water truck travels on a road to the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense base in Seongju, South Korea, on Tuesday. File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE

May 19 (UPI) -- U.S. and South Korean troops have resumed deliveries of essential supplies to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense base in Seongju.

The military vehicles, including a water truck, were seen entering the base Tuesday, four days after another delivery took place despite opposition to the base among locals, the Dong-A Ilbo reported Wednesday.

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Protesters already had assembled at the site when the delivery occurred at about 6 a.m. Tuesday. More than 30 people tried to block the vehicles from entry, according to the Dong-A.

South Korean police requested people to leave. At 6:30 a.m., police forced the group to disband, according to Yonhap.

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Despite the encounter, troops were able to complete their deliveries in about two hours.

South Korea's defense ministry and U.S. Forces Korea said the trucks delivered daily necessities, including drinking water.

Construction materials that could go toward building structures to accommodate soldiers were delivered in more than 30 trucks. Construction workers also entered the site, the report said.

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On Friday, the U.S. and South Korean militaries sent water purification equipment, construction materials and food rations for soldiers. The supplies were delivered in more than 20 trucks.

The Soseong-ri All-Source Situation Room, an anti-THAAD group, said the residents again were "forcibly disbanded" by police.

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"Ahead of the U.S.-Korea summit, the government intends to present Soseong-ri as a gift to the United States," the group said in statement. Soseong-ri is the rural area that surrounds the base.

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Activity at the THAAD site in Korea has resumed after a ministerial meeting in Seoul. According to South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had said in March the facilities at the base should be improved for the soldiers.

South Korean defense ministry spokesman Boo Seung-chan said Tuesday the "facility improvements" are needed to "guarantee the basic human rights" of U.S. and South Korean soldiers at the base.

THAAD is designed to intercept intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

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