South Korea's defence ministry on Wednesday said it will deploy THAAD - the United States missile defence system - to its southeastern region despite continued opposition from neighbouring countries.
According to media reports, one THAAD battery will be deployed to the Seongsan-ri region of Seongju County in North Gyeongsang Province, where the ROK Air Force's Hawk surface-to-air missile battery is located.
As the new missile system will be deployed in the southern part of the country, South Korea's military plans to increase the deployment of its own Patriot medium-altitude missile interceptors in the populous capital area, Yoo said.
The South Korean Defence Ministry said the THAAD system would be deployed in the southeastern county of Seongju to maximize its effectiveness while minimizing any impact on residents and the environment.
If China wants to avoid any further unwelcome news, for example South Korea deciding to formally participate in the US -led BMD system, together with Japan, China should stop sitting on its hands and do something to rein in its unruly client.
"North Korea will not enter into negotiations on their release until it is ready to reengage with the United States, which could be awhile given the challenges on both sides for reestablishing the bilateral relationship", he said.
North Korea's missile test took place on Saturday, and South Korea has reported that the test was unsuccessful. Since the government decided last Friday to deploy a THAAD system, one company after another has held emergency meetings. Since the THAAD system is said to have a maximum intercept range of 200km, one deployed there should be able to provide protection to USA military bases, including those in Pyeongtaek and Osan. Gen. Jang Kyung-soo, right, and U.S. Forces Korea's Maj.
The unexpected selection of Seongju sparked angry resistance from its residents who believe the THAAD installation could pose health risks and inflict damage on the town's oriental melon farming industry. Some local leaders sent letters of protest written in blood to the Defense Ministry.
The ministry, however, maintained that the deployment will not have any hazardous health effects because the THAAD battery will be operated at a safe distance from civilians. Since President Park Geun-hye came to office in 2013 she has made huge diplomatic efforts to encourage China to do more about North Korea.
China opposes the THAAD deployment and there is growing concern that Beijing may take economic measures to retaliate against South Korea.
The deployment will be completed by the end of next year and will be able to cover up to two thirds of South Korea from North Korean missiles.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and his South Korean counterpart Han Min-koo approved the decision, Ryu said.