South Korea and US military have decided to deploy THAAD missile defense system at a golf course in the southeastern part of the country to counter the potential missile threat from North.
The new site is located in Dalmasan in the country’s southern region, which refers to a golf course in Chojeon-myeon that is situated some 18 kilometers north off the Seongju county office, according to the ministry data submitted to the National Assembly.
The Dalmasan area has the relevant infrastructure which makes it possible to set up a THAAD battery in proper time and the US ally plans to deploy and operate the THAAD system by next year. Moreover, officials of the golf course expressed no objection to the government’s move, The Korea Herald reported today.
Though the ministry had initially planned to deploy THAAD in Seongsan-ri, Seongju-gun, where its artillery base is currently located, the fierce opposition from residents forced it to reconsider.
The golf course is at a less populated and higher altitude -- 680 meters above sea level to 383 meters -- than the original spot. It was not considered a candidate in the initial evaluation for potential THAAD locations since it is owned by Lotte Group, not the government.
While the golf course technically belongs to Seongju-gun, it is geographically closer to Gimcheon. On the eve of South Korea’s final decision, China again objected to the allies’ THAAD plans.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said, “We will pay close attention to relevant developments, and consider taking necessary actions to protect national strategic security and the regional strategic balance,” he was quoted by Reuters as saying in the monthly news briefing.