Residents of Seongju village denounced the deployment of the US anti-ballistic missile defence system, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD), in the area, Sunday. Seongju resident, Chang Kyung Soon, expressed concern over the THAAD's effect on the environment in the region. He explained his disapproval of the system deployment, saying that the water «could be polluted by oil... Еще» and that «we are drinking this water from the mountain and farming with it.» Member of the 'Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea' (SPARK) civil group, Kim Young Jae, argued that THAAD «is a part of the US strategic arms system,» which he said «has been deployed in Korea with the US interests in mind.» He went on to say that the THAAD deployment could also affect China and Russia, among other countries in Northeast Asia. Won Buddhism monk, Kim Sun-Myung, noted that «due to the deployment of THAAD, our holy place has been damaged, and access to it has been blocked. Therefore, we take it seriously that our freedom of religion has been violated.» Seoul and Washington started talks on the deployment of the THAAD system in July 2016; and parts of the missile defence battery have already been deployed. The system's deployment comes amidst rising tensions between the US and North Korea over the latter's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.