Photo taken on March 6, 2017 shows a part of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery arriving in South Korea. The photo was provided by the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK). (Xinhua/USFK)
SEOUL, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The deployment of a U.S. missile shield in South Korea has begun with the arrival of a part of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery, Seoul's defense ministry said Tuesday.
A South Korean defense ministry official told Xinhua that two mobile launchers and a part of other equipments of the THAAD battery arrived in the Osan Air Base, about 70 km south of the capital Seoul, at Monday night.
The first elements of the U.S. anti-missile system were transported by the U.S. C-17 transport aircraft, and moved to an unidentified military base of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK).
THAAD is composed of six mobile launchers, 48 interceptors, X-band radar and the fire and control unit.
THAAD's X-band radar can peer deep into territories of China and Russia, causing strong backlashes from the two countries. The U.S. missile shield breaks strategic balance and damages the security interests of the two nations.
Seoul and Washington agreed in July last year to install one THAAD battery in southeast South Korea by the end of this year. The site was changed in September into a golf course in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province.
On Feb. 28, Lotte signed a contract with the defense ministry to swap its golf course in Seongju for military land near Seoul, speeding up the process of the U.S. missile defense system installation.
Push for the THAAD deployment was made amid strong objections from residents in the Seongju county and the Gimcheon city, which faces the site of the super microwave-emitting anti-missile system.
The residents have held candlelight rallies every night since the THAAD deployment decision.
Local media speculations said the THAAD deployment would be completed in April or May. The deployment date is advanced from speculations on sometime between June and August.
Other equipments, troops and engineers necessary for the THAAD battery in South Korea would be transported in a gradual manner.
The South Korean defense ministry said the THAAD system will be deployed in the Seongju golf course through relevant procedures. The processes include the land provision to the U.S. forces, the basic designing of the base, the evaluation of environmental effect and the base construction.
To accelerate the processes, the South Korean military reportedly planned to implement two or more procedures simultaneously.
SEOUL, March 6 (Xinhua) -- South Korean business people in downtown Seoul, where Chinese tourists once packed the streets before the decision to deploy a U.S. missile shield in their homeland, complained about falling profits as a result of fewer Chinese customers.
Lee Jae-myung, mayor of Seongnam city in southeast of Seoul affiliated with the biggest opposition Minjoo Party, held a conference on Monday with the merchants from Dongdaemun and Myeongdong, two of the most popular shopping malls for Chinese travelers. Full story
SEONGJU, SOUTH KOREA, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Residents living in southeast South Korea, where the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is set to be deployed, gathered again on Saturday night to continue their fight against the deployment with candles in their hand.
Locals in the Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province held the 235th candlelit rally, which has lasted every night since Seoul and Washington announced the abrupt decision to install one THAAD battery by the end of this year. Full story