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(LEAD) Additional THAAD launchers to be deployed Thursday: villagers

2017/09/06 15:40

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(ATTN: ADDS photo, more info from 3rd para)

SEONGJU, South Korea, Sept. 6 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. military will deploy additional missile interceptor launchers to its base in a southern town early Thursday despite strong opposition from residents and activists, according to local villagers.

The residents' group in Seonju said Wednesday they have confirmed the information through various channels about the planned deployment of four launchers of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system at 2 a.m. on Thursday, in addition to two that are already installed.

"We think the authorities will notify the residents of the THAAD launcher installation plan this evening," the group said.

The group has opposed the deployment, arguing the THAAD battery could turn the village, some 300 kilometers south of Seoul, into a military target, and that electromagnetic waves emanating from its powerful radar could cause health and environmental problems.

On Monday, the environment ministry gave conditional consent to the deployment, removing a major administrative hurdle for the THAAD operation.

Soon after North Korea launched another long-range missile July 28, President Moon Jae-in ordered the "temporary" deployment of additional THAAD launchers.

A THAAD battery consists of six truck-mounted launchers, 48 interceptors (eight per launcher), a fire control and communications unit, and an AN/TPY-2 radar.

The full deployment of the missile defense system has been suspended pending an environmental impact assessment, which the Moon administration views as a legitimate domestic procedure for any military deployment.

Residents of Seongju, a county some 300 kilometers south of Seoul, stage a protest against the installation of a U.S. missile defense system in front of a village office in the county on Sept. 6, 2017. (Yonhap) Residents of Seongju, a county some 300 kilometers south of Seoul, stage a protest against the installation of a U.S. missile defense system in front of a village office in the county on Sept. 6, 2017. (Yonhap)

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