SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Lotte International, a unit of South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate Lotte Group, held the first board of directors meeting on Friday to discuss the land swap deal with Seoul's defense ministry.
A Lotte Group official told Xinhua that the Friday meeting reached no conclusion, saying more meetings need to be held. The date of the next meeting has yet to be decided.
A golf course in southeast South Korea, owned by Lotte International, was picked as a site to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system.
Seoul and Washington abruptly announced the agreement in July 2016 to install one THAAD battery in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province, by the end of this year.
The site was later changed into the Lotte golf course, which is placed inside the county, amid strong oppositions from Seongju residents, but the alteration caused objections from people in Gimcheon city bordering the county.
The THAAD's X-band radar emits super microwaves detrimental to human body and environment. People living in the regions have held protest rallies every night since the decision was made.
In exchange for providing the golf course, Lotte signed the contract last year with the defense ministry to get the military-owned property in Namyangju, Gyeonggi province.
The Lotte official said the approval from the board of directors would take time as it requires the valuation of the land as well as the feasibility of businesses that Lotte can do in the military land.
While the board meeting was being held, visiting U.S. Defense Secretary and South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo met in Seoul, reaffirming the deployment of the U.S. missile shield within this year.
Local media outlets speculate that the deployment can be completed between May and July unless the land swap deal is prolonged. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), had expected the THAAD installation between July and September.
Major presidential hopefuls in the South Korean opposition bloc had demanded the cancellation or the delay of a final decision on THAAD to the next government.
An early presidential election is forecast to be held in April or May as President Park Geun-hye was impeached in December over a corruption scandal that roiled the country for over three months.