S Korea to Conduct New Environmental Survey of THAAD Deployment Site
The South Korean government is planning to carry out an additional, and more extensive survey of possible environmental impacts the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system will have on the Seongju area, the South Korean Defense Ministry said Friday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The ministry also stated that it would soon start consultations with the US authorities on the size of the area, which would become the subject of the survey.
"We are planning to conduct a general environmental impact assessment in accordance with the domestic law for the entire site that was originally planned to be provided to the US military," the Defense Ministry said, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.
The agency noted that typically, such a process of assessment took 10 to 15 months, adding that the period could be shortened because former South Korean President Park Geun-Hye's administration had already carried out a small-scale environmental impact survey in December 2016.
The THAAD system deployment was agreed on by the United States and South Korea in July 2016, following five months of negotiations with the previous Korean administration. According to the agreement, Seoul provides a total of 690,000 square meters (170.5 acres) of land for the system in two stages, while Washington pays for the installation and maintenance of it.
THAAD is designed for high-altitude extra-atmospheric interception of short and medium-range missiles and can, if needed, be used against North Korean ballistic missiles. According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, the range of THAAD does not exceed 200 kilometers.
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