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U.S. lawmaker says THAAD poses no danger, wants one 'in my backyard'

All News 05:36 July 21, 2016

CLEVELAND, Ohio, July 20 (Yonhap) -- A U.S. House lawmaker said Wednesday he would like a THAAD missile defense battery "in my backyard" as the system provides excellent protection for his children from oncoming nuclear missiles while posing no danger to humans and the environment.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) made the remark in a meeting with South Korean reporters, seeking to dispel concern widespread in South Korea about the safety of the missile defense system in the wake of a joint decision by Seoul and Washington to place a THAAD battery in the Asian nation.

Detractors claim that the electromagnetic radiation from the system, especially its powerful X-band radar, could be dangerous to humans and agricultural products, despite repeated assurances from officials of the two countries that the system is safe.

Angry residents of a town set to host the battery held violent protests against the deployment.

"I would want THAAD outside in our backyard if we could get the military to put one there, because I believe it will be a protection to my children and no danger to them. I guess that's the best way I can explain to you why i think it's a good thing," Franks said.

"I literally would have great confidence that the system would not harm my children if it were in our backyard, yet I believe it would have great protection for them that we would be the last ones in the neighborhood to get hit with a nuclear warhead," he said.

The lawmaker also said that any claims THAAD is dangerous to humans are politically oriented.

"The notion that ... the levels of radiation that would be damaging to human life is preposterous. It's simply not true. It is a political claim more than it is a scientific claim," he said. "THAAD has been a thoroughly tested system and it has been extremely effective."

He said that each THAAD system has a 99 percent chance of interception.

"So, when you have two, you have 99 percent and that 1 percent is left and you have 99 percent of hitting that. So, it's an extremely high chance of interception," he said.


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