The Korea Herald


Residents fail to discuss alternative site for THAAD deployment

By 이다영

Published : Aug. 20, 2016 - 17:18

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Residents living near a government-chosen site for a U.S. anti-missile system failed Saturday to discuss whether to review an alternative location due to opponents' protest.

Residents of the southern county of Seongju held a meeting to discuss whether they can consider picking an alternative site for the government's move to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) inside the county.

But they failed to reach a consensus over whether to review the alternative location as some of them insisted that the government should scrap its plan to deploy a THAAD battery on their county.

In July, Seoul and Washington agreed to place a THAAD battery in Seongju by the end of next year in a bid to counter North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats.

But as residents are strongly protesting against the government's decision, South Korea has recently said that it will consider another site inside the county if Seonju residents can agree on an alternative site for the THAAD deployment.

The residents voiced strong opposition as that electromagnetic waves emanating from the system's radar could pose health problems.

The government claimed that the battery does not pose hazardous health risks.

They are sharply divided over whether they should propose an alternative site for the THAAD deployment. The allies picked a South Korean air defense base in Seongju as the original site for the THAAD placement, but it is in the proximity of residents' farm and houses.

"At first, all county residents formed a united front in voicing opposition against the THAAD deployment here. But since talks about an alternative site have been raised, their opinions have divided," a resident said. (Yonhap)