S Korea Launches Expertise on US THAAD Deployment Environmental Impact

© AP Photo / Lee Jin-manProtesters demonstrate against THAAD outside the US Embassy in Seoul, June 24, 2017
Protesters demonstrate against THAAD outside the US Embassy in Seoul, June 24, 2017 - Sputnik International
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South Korea on Saturday began a formal environmental survey on US THAAD system's deployment, local media reported, citing officials.

TOKYO (Sputnik) — South Korea on Saturday began a formal environmental survey on US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system's deployment in the country's Seongju area amid local residents' protests calling for the government to reconsider the deployment altogether, local media reported, citing officials.

According to the Yonhap news agency, experts from defense and environment ministries arrived in Seongju on Saturday, some 186 miles southeast of Seoul, to study electromagnetic radiation and noise from THAAD.

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In July 2016, following five months of negotiations, Seoul and Washington agreed on the deployment of THAAD units that might, where necessary, intercept ballistic missiles from North Korea. THAAD is designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who officially came to office on May 10, has repeatedly criticized the previous government for agreeing to host the THAAD system without first seeking parliamentary approval. Moon subsequently suspended the deployment in order to carry out an investigation into the environmental consequences of the move.

In July, North Korea conducted two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests, which triggered Moon’s decision to resume deliveries of additional THAAD components.

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