South Korea to deploy anti-missile system in remote region
Seoul, Sep 30 (IANS) South Korea announced on Friday that it would install the THAAD anti-missile system in a more remote region than initially planned.
The initial plan to deploy the US anti-missile system in Seongju county had to be scrapped after it faced strong opposition from residents of the area, EFE news reported.
THAAD, scheduled for deployment in 2017, will now be set up in an area, currently occupied by Lotte Skyhill Country Club, 18 km north of Seongju city and around 300 km southeast of Seoul, a Defense Ministry spokesperson told EFE.
While selecting a new spot, Seoul considered factors such as operational effectiveness, well-being of residents, infrastructure, security, cost, and time for construction and preparation, according to the spokesperson.
The decision was taken following months of protests by the residents of Seongju county, who, during negotiations with the government, expressed their concerns over possible health and environmental damages due to the strong radars of the THAAD system, besides bringing them in North Korea’s hypothetical line of fire.
The THAAD, whose deployment was confirmed in July by South Korea and the US, can intercept missiles from North Korea and is aimed to bolster South Korea’s defence system against Pyongyang’s progressing nuclear and missile capabilities.