SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's Defense Ministry said Monday that a Lotte Group unit possessing a golf course, where the U.S. missile shield is set to be installed, will to hold a board of directors meeting later in the day to decide on a land swap contract.
Seoul's Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-kyun told a press briefing that he was informed of Lotte's plan to hold a board of directors meeting on Monday to decide on the deal to exchange military land for the golf course, where the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is to be sited.
The spokesman said the ministry will take follow-up measures according to the results of the meeting, noting that there has been no change in its plan to deploy the THAAD battery this year.
Seoul and Washington abruptly announced a decision in July last year to deploy one THAAD battery in southeast South Korea by the end of this year.
The Lotte-owned golf course, which is located in the Seongju county in North Gyeongsang province and borders the Gimcheon city, was picked as a final site for the U.S. missile defense system.
The land exchange contract between Lotte and the defense ministry was scheduled to be inked in early January, but it was delayed due to strong oppositions at home and abroad.
Seongju and Gimcheon residents have held candlelit rallies every night since the THAAD deployment decision as the government failed to collect their opinion in advance.
Parliamentary and public objections have been harsh as the THAAD is not aimed to shoot down missiles from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), but to make South Korea part of the U.S. missile defense networking in Northeast Asia.
DPRK missiles targeting South Korea fly at an altitude of less than 40 km. THAAD is designed to intercept missiles at an altitude of 40-150 km.
The THAAD's X-band radar can peer deep into the territories of neighboring countries including China and Russia, damaging security interests of the two countries and breaking regional balance.
Lotte International, a Lotte Group unit owning the golf course, held a board of directors meeting on Feb. 3, but it failed to approve the land swap deal.
However, the South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate has been allegedly under pressures from the military to sign the contract rapidly.