South Korea plans to conduct additional environmental impact assessment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.
The defense ministry will decide whether to fully deploy the THAAD missile on its soil only after general environmental survey and is expect to take several months.
The allies will soon begin consultations with the US Forces Korea (USFK) on details, including the size of an area subject to the measure under the decision by an inter-agency task force on the issue, a ministry official was quoted as saying by Yonhap Friday.
"It's hard to talk about an exact timeline, as it depends on consultations with the U.S. side and other elements," he told reporters on background. "Usually, it takes 10 to 15 months to complete such a process."
But the period could be shortened since a survey is currently being conducted, he added.
South Korea agreed to provide the USFK with a former golf course in Seongju, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, to house a THAAD battery.
A "small-sized" environmental survey has been under way there since December last year in a decision by the country's former Park Geun-hye administration.
Two THAAD interceptor launchers are already operational at the site, along with a powerful X-band radar, and a fire control and communication system. Four other launchers remain stored at a nearby USFK base.