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US May Deploy THAAD System in South Korea in June

© Flickr / Mark HollowayThe US Army's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor, coming soon to South Korea.
The US Army's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor, coming soon to South Korea. - Sputnik International
The United States is likely to deploy its Terminal-High Altitude Area Defense anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea in June, local media said Sunday.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Seoul is about to finalize the process of acquiring land for the system and is looking to station the US system by late June at the earliest, the Yonhap news agency said, citing the South Korean Defense Ministry.

The Defense Ministry is eyeing Seongju County's Lotte Skyhill Country Club golf course, owned by the Lotte Group, for the land needed to deploy THAAD. The environmental impact of such a move is currently being assessed, according to the media outlet.

The exact number of launchers remains uncertain, while sources told Yonhap that up to nine trucks could be deployed. This would amount to a full battery with eight missiles in each launcher.

The THAAD agreement was reached by Seoul and Washington in July. The move came amid growing tensions spurred by North Korea's recurring ballistic and nuclear tests.

The THAAD system has a range of some 200 kilometers (125 miles) and is designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles at the terminal incoming stage. The move has been criticized by neighboring China and Russia as inappropriate, possibly disproportionate and affecting other countries' interests.

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