October 04, 2016 10:05
The government is now determined to deploy a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. on a golf course owned by the troubled Lotte retail group.
A Defense Ministry official on Monday said talks with Lotte will begin to deploy the battery on the golf course near Seongju in the southeast.
South Korea and the U.S. decided last week to set up the THAAD battery on the golf course on Mt. Dalma near Gimcheon because a previous attempt to find a site failed amid massive protests from locals.
The Defense Ministry in a statement Friday vowed to make sure the THAAD battery will be deployed next year.
The plan has also met with furious denunciations from China, which believes the radar that comes with the battery will be used to spy on its military activities in the region.
The Lotte Skyhill Country Club measures 1.78 million sq. m and the ministry wants to buy the entire course at an estimated cost of W100 billion (US$1=W1,102).
To speed up the deployment, the ministry will offer to swap real estate in Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul for the golf course.
The conglomerate said it would "positively consider" the plan.
Residents of Gimcheon and Buddhists who have some significant sites near the golf course are still protesting against the new location.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com