De­ci­sion on THAAD site in a year

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

SEOUL — The South Korean govern­ment an­nounced a plan on Fri­day to make a fi­nal de­ci­sion on the US Ter­mi­nal High Al­ti­tude Area De­fense de­ploy­ment af­ter a year­long en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment of the pro­posed site has been con­ducted.

Ac­cord­ing to the De­fense Min­istry, a fi­nal de­ci­sion on THAAD’s in­stal­la­tion in the south­east of the coun­try will be made af­ter a gen­eral as­sess­ment of the site in ac­cor­dance with do­mes­tic law.

Since De­cem­ber last year, a small-size green au­dit had been con­ducted on 328,800 square me­ters of land at a golf course in Seong ju county, North Gyeongsang prov­ince.

The re­sults of that au­dit were sub­mit­ted on Mon­day to the En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal me­dia re­ports.

The mil­i­tary was given the for­mer golf course, which to­tals an area of 1.48 mil­lion square me­ters, in Fe­bru­ary from Lotte, the coun­try’s fifth­biggest con­glom­er­ate, in ex­change for land near Seoul.

The mil­i­tary had re­port­edly planned to pro­vide 700,000 square me­ters of land for the THAAD de­ploy­ment, but the of­fer­ing process was di­vided into two phases to avoid a large-size green au­dit.

Ac­cord­ing to do­mes­tic law, the mil­i­tary land pro­vi­sion of less than 330,000 square me­ters is al­lowed to re­ceive a small-sized green au­dit.

Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in, who took of­fice on May 10, or­dered an­other green au­dit in ac­cor­dance with do­mes­tic law, re­veal­ing the of­fer­ing process had been di­vided into two phases.

The South Korean mil­i­tary is be­lieved to be will­ing to of­fer 600,000-700,000 square me­ters of land for the de­fense sys­tem’s in­stal­la­tion.

Res­i­dents in Seongju county and Gim­cheon city, which bor­ders the county and faces the su­per mi­crowave-emit­ting X-band radar, de­nounced the au­dit de­ci­sion, de­mand­ing the “strate­gic” as­sess­ment of en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact be con­ducted.

The strate­gic green au­dit means the with­drawal of all of the de­ployed THAAD el­e­ments for an over­all re­view on the de­ploy­ment de­ci­sion from the very be­gin­ning.

Wash­ing­ton an­nounced the de­ploy­ment de­ci­sion in July last year.

On April 26, just two weeks be­fore the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, two mo­bile launch­ers and other el­e­ments of the US shield were trans­ported at night to the site.

Four mo­bile launch­ers were al­ready de­liv­ered to a nearby US mil­i­tary base. One THAAD bat­tery is com­posed of six mo­bile launch­ers, 48 in­ter­cep­tors, the AN/TPY-2 radar and the fire-and-con­trol unit.

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