April 11, 2018 13:21
The Defense Ministry is expected to bring building materials and equipment to the site of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province this week.
The ministry has tried to persuade activists and locals to stop blocking the access road, but so far to no avail. Instead, it decided to transport the materials and equipment into the base with the help of police, sparking fears of a clash with the protesters.
Military authorities are planning to repair leaky roofs and build a kitchen, a toilet and a sewage treatment plant. The former golf club house was originally designed to accommodate only about 150 people, but now some 400 Korean and U.S. soldiers are staying there.
"The current living quarters are very small and sanitary conditions are very poor, including toilets that clog all the time," a military spokesman said Tuesday. "We need to start construction as soon as possible before the rainy season."
The activists and locals still block the road with steel barricades, but they say they could make an exception if the work only serves to make the soldiers more comfortable.
Kang Hyun-wook, a spokesperson for an activist group, told reporters, "We won't block the transport of building materials and equipment if they guarantee that they won't install launch pads, but will only repair leaky roofs."
The military spokesman promised that no construction work on launch pads will be carried out this time.
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