Posted June. 12, 2017 07:19,
Updated June. 12, 2017 07:27
The Board of Audit and Inspection plans to focus its inspection on the suspicion that the Defense Ministry might have sought to avoid environmental impact assessment in the process of deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system, it was confirmed Sunday. Judging that the ministry’s own inspection will only have limited effect, the board, primarily its defense inspection bureau, is monitoring the process through which the THAAD was deployed.
“The senior presidential secretary for civil affairs completed its own probe, but a probe into the entire process of THAAD deployment including suspected avoiding of environmental impact assessment has not been completed,” a senior official at the presidential office said, before mentioning the need for additional inspection into defense ministry officials’ duties and work by the Board of Audit and Inspection. The Defense Ministry provided the U.S. Forces Korea with land measuring 328,799 sq. meters, a size that can be subjected to small-scale environmental impact assessment (land measuring less than 330,000 sq. meters), and when signing a service contract with an environmental impact assessment agency in December, the ministry restricted the land subject to survey to 154,550 sq. meters, which critics have called "deceitful provision of land."
As a result, the Board of Audit and Inspection will likely inspect whether the Defense Ministry provided the U.S. Forces Korea with the THAAD site by splitting it into pieces to dodge a general environmental impact assessment, who ordered such a process, and whether the Defense Ministry and the Environment Ministry reached agreement.
However, the audit agency is reportedly judging the issues that were decided in the diplomacy realm, including the process through which the decision on THAAD deployment, was made are beyond the scope of the upcoming inspection. Analysts say that the measure has been taken to prevent the possibility that THAAD inspection by Seoul from escalating into diplomatic dispute with Washington.