South Korean Anti-THAAD Activist Dies Setting Himself On Fire

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Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức protesting the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government, Saigon, 11 June 1963

A South Korean Anti-THAAD activist set himself on fire in Seoul to protest the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system.

Jo Young-sam died on Wednesday, a day after self-immolating on the rooftop of an 18-story building in Mapo-gu, Seoul.

According to police, he poured a liter of combustible lacquer or paint thinner on himself and set himself on fire, reports UPI.

Jo died because he could “no longer bear to watch the South Korean government cave in to pressure from the United States.” 

The Korea Herald reports:

“THAAD should go and peace shall come. (The peace initiatives of) the Moon Administration should prevail,” 58-year-old Jo had said. He also left a four-page statement addressed to President Moon Jae-in, in which he denounced the THAAD deployment and called for peace initiatives regarding North Korea.

Jo had suffered third-degree burns all over his body and had been rushed to a hospital for treatment. However, he died Wednesday morning.

Jo visited North Korea in 1995 upon a formal invitation from Lee In-mo, who had been repatriated to the North. After his visit to North Korea, Jo took refuge in Germany for 18 years. He finally returned to South Korea in 2012 and was sentenced to one year in prison for his unauthorized visit to the North.

After serving his prison sentence, he moved to Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province, and had recently been engaging in an anti-THAAD campaign.

At a joint press conference early Wednesday, activist groups said the Moon administration and the US should be held accountable for his death.


See Also: Russia & China Slam US Over THAAD Deployment In South Korea

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