Hundreds of South Koreans took to the streets of Seoul on Tuesday to voice disapproval of the US leader amid concerns over North Korea’s nuclear threats. Surrounded by thousands of police officers and a tight perimeter created by buses, hundreds of anti-Trump protesters rallied at a boulevard near the US Embassy, holding banners that read “No Trump” and “No War.”, ABC News reported.
The demonstrators accused the outspoken president of raising tensions with North Korea and pressuring Seoul to buy more US weapons. They also criticized him for pressing Seoul to re-do a bilateral free trade deal between the countries so that it’s more favorable to the United States. More than 15,000 officers were deployed to provide security during Trump’s two-day visit and monitor the demonstrations, according to the National Police Agency.
Police had unsuccessfully attempted to block anti-Trump protesters from marching in streets near the presidential palace, with the Seoul Administrative Court ruling that such a ban would infringe on the protesters’ freedom of assembly. Dozens of anti-Trump protesters rallied near the presidential office earlier on Tuesday under the close watch of police.
“We oppose the visit to South Korea by Trump, who has heightened the fears of war on the Korean Peninsula,” said one of the protesters, reading from a statement.
Many South Koreans are concerned that Trump’s fiery rhetoric on North Korea, which has included threats of military options, is raising the risk of an unwanted war on the Korean Peninsula that could cost thousands of South Korean lives.