SEOUL, Sept 30 South Korea's military aims to
deploy an advanced U.S. missile defence unit on a golf course,
the Yonhap News Agency reported on Friday, after it had to scrap
its initial site for the battery in the face of opposition from
Tension on the Korean peninsula has been high this year,
beginning with North Korea's fourth nuclear test in January,
which was followed by a satellite launch, a string of tests of
various missiles, and its fifth and largest nuclear test this
In July, South Korea agreed with the United States that a
U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile
unit would be deployed in the Seongju region, southeast of the
capital, Seoul, to defend the country.
But residents of the melon-farming area protested over
worries about the safety of the system's powerful radar and the
likelihood it would be a target for North Korea, which warned of
retaliation, if war broke out.
The plan to deploy the system has also angered China, which
worries that the THAAD's powerful radar would compromise its
The new site for the missile battery would be a golf course
at the high-end Lotte Skyhill Seongju Country Club, media
The club is owned by the Lotte Group conglomerate and had
been considered as an alternative due to its high altitude and
accessibility for military vehicles, a defence official told
A spokesman for the Lotte Group declined to comment and an
official at the country club did not have any immediate comment.
An official at South Korea's defence ministry could not
confirm the report. The ministry was scheduled to brief local
officials and parliament on Friday about a new location.
The United States said this week that it would speed up
deployment of the THAAD system given the pace of North Korea's
missile tests, and it would be stationed in South Korea "as soon
On Thursday, China again warned against the deployment,
saying it "means what it says" when it says it will consider
The United States and its ally South Korea have said THAAD
does not threaten China's security or target any country other
than North Korea.
(Reporting by Ju-min Park and Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Robert