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THAAD Deployment Put on Hold by South Korean Government

June 7, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Blue House (South Korea’s White House) announced today that the further deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system has been placed on hold as an environmental impact study is conducted, taking perhaps one year. The two units now in place will remain, but the four additional units which were being deployed (without informing the new government) are to be put on hold.

President Moon Jae-in was furious when he learned of the effort to deploy the extra units without informing the government. The first two units were deployed duplicitously by the former regime during the election campaign period, despite the open opposition from the almost-certain winner, now president, Moon Jae-in.

Another scam by the former government (in cooperation with the U.S. military) was also exposed. Korean law requires an environmental impact study for any military site of 330,000 square meters or more. Although the area allotted for the THAAD is 700,000 square meters, the military only reported 320,000 (just under 330,000 square meters) were needed for the first two THAAD units, thus circumventing the law and proceeding without the required environmental impact study.

A Blue House official said that "the THAAD deployment is not considered an urgent matter that can avoid the environmental impact assessment," according to the Korean Herald. The Defense Ministry had argued that the impact study should be skipped due to "urgent circumstances."

By leaving the two units in place, the X-Band (deep range) radar will also remain, which is what has angered China and Russia, since the radar disrupts the strategic balance, contributing to a potential first-strike capacity by the United States.