South Korea set to disclose a site for US missile defense

AP News
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Posted: Jul 12, 2016 10:53 PM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The site in South Korea that will be the base for an advanced U.S. missile defense system that the government says is designed to cope with North Korean threats will be announced Wednesday, Seoul officials said.

The planned announcement comes two days after North Korea threatened to take unspecified "psychical" measures once the location for the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, is disclosed.

China and Russia also oppose the system that they believe help U.S. radars spot missiles in their countries. Seoul and Washington say the missile system only targets North Korea.

South Korean media reported the southeastern rural town of Seongju has been picked as the sit. Seoul's Defense Ministry would not comment, saying a formal announcement will be made Wednesday afternoon.

Residents in several villages rumored to be candidate sites for the THAAD system have already launched protests, citing fears that the electromagnetic waves that THAAD radar systems emit can possibly cause health hazards. Local Sangju leaders said they plan to make a protest visit to the Defense Ministry in Seoul on Wednesday.

Defense officials have disputed the claims, saying the missile system will be located on a mountain, not in a residential area, and is harmless if people stay at least 100 meters (yards) away from it.

Seoul and Washington launched formal talks on the THAAD deployment after North Korea conducted a fourth nuclear test and carried about a long-range rocket launch earlier this year.

The United States stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea. China assisted North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War, while American-led U.N. troops fought alongside South Korea.