S. Korea accelerates environmental procedure for full-fledged THAAD deployment
SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's defense ministry on Friday made public the draft of its environmental impact assessment on a U.S. THAAD missile defense unit in a southern county, a procedure required for its full-fledged deployment.
The move signaled progress in the ministry's push for the "normalization" of the battery in Seongju, 217 kilometers southeast of Seoul, which has held the status of a "temporary" installation pending the assessment.
The draft is available at community service centers in the city of Gimcheon and Seongju County through March 24, according to the ministry.
Key details of the draft are also posted on the website of an environmental impact assessment information support system under the environment ministry, as well as the websites of the two provincial authorities.
The ministry plans to hold a meeting with local residents to explain the draft next Thursday.
The draft reportedly shows that the battery is in line with the country's environmental standards in all assessment categories, including the level of electromagnetic waves.
Following the public consultation procedure, the defense and environment ministries plan to craft the final version of the assessment document.
Once the assessment process is over, the construction of key infrastructure is expected to proceed in earnest -- a process that turns the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense base into one with permanent operational deployment status.
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