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Defense Ministry pushes for normalization of THAAD base in Seongju

Defense Ministry pushes for normalization of THAAD base in Seongju

Posted June. 17, 2022 07:46,   

Updated June. 17, 2022 07:46


The Ministry of National Defense pitched in to form a consultative body for the general environmental impact assessment of a U.S. THAAD missile defense unit in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province on Thursday. Its move can be interpreted as a signal of the normalization of the unit in five years left in the status of temporary installation during the entire term of the former Moon Jae-in administration.

The ministry announced that for environmental impact assessment, it asked related local governments and environmental institutions for the recommendations of members of the consultative body. “The organization will be consisted of the civil servants of related local governments and environmental offices, private environmental experts, resident representatives as well as the officials from the Ministry of Defense and Environment,” the ministry said. “After being launched, the organization will conduct assessment in a swift manner according to law and procedure of the Seongju unit for its normalization.”

The general environmental impact assessment usually takes more than a year, but the ministry is planning to put the plan forward as much as possible. “Accumulated data from small-scale assessments done so far may help us finish it within this year at the earliest,” said the source in the ministry. When the assessment is completed, the THAAD battery will become available for the construction and extension for the normalization.

The THAAD battery was deployed in Seongju in April 2017 in the wake of North Korea’s heightened nuclear and missile threats and has been on duty in the status of temporary installation. Throughout the former Moon administration, the United States pointed out the poor conditions of the base even mentioning its withdrawal, which developed into discord in the alliance.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com