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Environment ministry to conditionally consent to THAAD deployment

All Headlines 11:07 September 04, 2017

SEOUL, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) -- The Ministry of Environment has decided to conditionally consent to the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system, removing the last administrative hurdle to its full operation fiercely opposed by local residents and activists, sources said Monday.

The environment ministry is known to have reached the decision after reviewing the result of the defense ministry's environmental impact survey of the site of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, the sources said.

The environment ministry is set to make a formal announcement Monday afternoon, they added.

The Ministry of National Defense released last month the result of its survey of electromagnetic radiation and noise from THAAD at a former golf course in Seongju, some 300 km southeast of Seoul, amid strong protests from county residents and activists.

The defense ministry has found the potential environmental impact from THAAD to be limited. It said the radiation and noise levels detected were either far below or on par with regulatory standards.

The environment ministry is expected to give its consent on the condition of continued and strengthened monitoring to ease local residents' concerns.

Government sources said earlier that the defense ministry is poised to deploy four additional THAAD launchers as early as this week. It has already brought in two rocket launchers and a powerful X-band radar to the Seongju base, which are now operational.

Protesters raised doubts about the credibility of the government-led survey and demanded a reassessment by an independent body including foreign experts.

Environment ministry to conditionally consent to THAAD deployment - 1

elly@yna.co.kr
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