The South Korean Foreign Ministry has been the target of more than 8,000 cyberattacks or attempted attacks since the beginning of this year, local media reported Sunday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Ministry servers were attacked 8,263 times in the period between January and July alone. This figure is nearly equal to that for 2016, when the Ministry was attacked 8,482 times, Yonhap news agency reported, citing parliamentary sources.

According to the outlet, a large number of the detected attacks came from China.

In March, the Ministry of National Defense said that South Korean military had registered a growing number of cyberattacks after the beginning of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system’s deployment in the country.

The THAAD system was deployed as a security measure amid North Korea’s continuing missile and nuclear tests.

Seoul announced the deployment of four additional THAAD launchers earlier in September, following Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test.

China has been critical of THAAD’s deployment, expressing concern over it potentially undermining security in the region.

A number of other countries, including China and Russia opposed the deployment, citing security concerns.

The move also met with strong opposition from local residents. Hundreds of residents of South Korea’s North Gyeongsang Province took to the streets to protest against the government’s decision, but the protests led to clashes with police.