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Gov’t says no change in site for U.S. anti-missile system

All News 20:56 July 23, 2016

SEOUL, July 23 (Yonhap) -- The Defense Ministry on Saturday ruled out any change in the site for deploying an advanced U.S. anti-missile system amid no signs of progress in ending the standoff with angry residents near the site.

Residents in the country’s southeastern county of Seongju began protesting after South Korea and U.S. military officials selected an anti-aircraft missile base in the rural area for the site for the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

Still, the government has no plans to consider other areas for the site of the THAAD battery, said a Defense Ministry official.

His comments came amid calls among some people for a compromise to be reached between the government and local residents if the THAAD battery is placed on a remote mountain in the county.

The Air Force anti-aircraft missile base is just 1.5 kilometers away from populated areas in the county.

The local residents have balked at potential health concerns related to the electromagnetic waves emanating from the THAAD's X-band radar, which they fear could cause cancer and infertility.

But they have recently expressed anger at the fact that the deployment decision was made "unilaterally" without any consultations with them in advance.

Also Saturday, a local resident, who speaks for his community over the THAAD battery, is said to have rejected an offer by Vice Defense Minister Hwang In-moo to have dialogue in the latest sign of anger toward the government.

Hwang came to Seongju on Friday to try to set up a dialogue with the local residents. He plans to return to Seoul on Sunday.

The local residents say there is no need for dialogue with the government unless the government retracts the decision to deploy the THAAD battery in the county.


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