Mob hurls eggs at prime minister as missile base protests turn ugly

An angry mob threw eggs and water bottles at the South Korean prime minister on Friday as they protested over a plan to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defence system in their town. People in the rural town of Seongju jeered as prime minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, accompanied by the defence minister and others, tried to explain the decision. Some hurled eggs and water bottles as they shouted about the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system. Mr Hwang did not appear to be directly hit by any objects as security guards and aides used umbrellas and bags to protect him but his suit jacket was soiled and he was taken to a town hall office for protection.

The government will do its best so the residents can live their daily lives without any concern

Hwang Kyo-Ahn

The Seongju residents are furious over the proposal saying they fear possible health hazards from electromagnetic waves emitted by the radar systems. About 200 Seongju residents made a protest visit to Seoul’s defense ministry on Wednesday and some wrote letters of complaint in blood. Another 13 town leaders went on a hunger strike. Defence officials say the system is harmless if people stay at least 100m away from it. And defence minister Han Min Koo said he would personally stand in front of the radars to prove they aren’t harmful. But it wasn’t enough to stop residents protesting again during Mr Hwang’s visit. When he and the others came out of the town hall to get into a bus, they were again surrounded by hundreds of protesters, some using tractors.