The process to lease Seongju Golf Course in North Gyeongsang Province, designated as the site for THAAD, to the American forces was completed yesterday (April 20).
However, the actual deployment of the missiles has reportedly been pushed back to after the presidential election.
Yim Gwang-bin has more.
Negotiations between Korea and the U.S. to lease land for THAAD that have been taking place for over a month came to an end.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that the Ministry of National Defense and the U.S. Forces in Korea requested the SOFA Joint Committee for approval of the lease, and that the chief of the committee gave approval.
As a result, the U.S. Forces in Korea was given authorization to deploy THAAD at Seongju Golf Course and to fully begin the preparatory works for deployment.
The area of the land leased to the American troops is about 300,000 square meters.
The Ministry of National Defense stated, "Korea and the U.S. will work to secure the capabilities for timely operations of the THAAD system against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats," and also repeatedly emphasized that THAAD is a self-defense measure.
One artillery unit that will be deployed in the golf course will include a control post, one fire control radar, and six launch pads.
However, it was reported that actual deployment will be possible only after the election.
The Defense Ministry also revealed in a recent statement that, given the current situation, the process will not be easy to complete in the short-run.
The core equipment of THAAD, the X Band Radar, apparently has not yet arrived in Korea.
Therefore, some are cautiously asking whether the election in May and the results of the negotiations on North Korea between the U.S. and China are having direct and indirect influences on the final deployment of THAAD.
Yim Gwang-bin reporting for Yonhap News TV.
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