S. Korea's ruling party wants hearing on THAAD

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-13 06:29

SEOUL-South Korea's ruling Minjoo Party said on Friday that it will push for a public hearing on deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense system to stop conflicts over the issue.

Shim Jae-kwon, head of the Minjoo Party's special committee on THAAD, told reporters in the parliamentary building that the committee will push for the parliamentary hearing on THAAD deployment.

On April 26, part of a THAAD battery, including radar, was transported to a golf course in southeast South Korea, causing strong protest from residents and peace activists.

The THAAD elements that were installed were two mobile launchers, the radar and other equipment. One THAAD battery comprises six mobile launchers, 48 interceptors, the radar and the fire control unit.

Seoul and Washington agreed in July to deploy one THAAD battery by the end of this year, and the site was changed to the golf course at Soseong-ri village in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province.

Lotte Group, the country's fifth-biggest family-controlled conglomerate, which owned the golf course, signed a deal in late February with the Defense Ministry to exchange the golf course for military-owned land around Seoul.

The signing accelerated the THAAD deployment, triggering violent tussles between residents and police officers.

Soseong-ri is a tiny village where the residents are mostly in their 70s or older. The tussle caused harsh criticism from the general public.

Anti-THAAD protesters demanded public consensus and a parliamentary hearing on whether to deploy the US missile shield.

The Minjoo Party lawmaker told reporters that suspicions should be resolved on the legitimacy of the installation, the legality of transportation of THAAD equipment and the cost.

US President Donald Trump said South Korea should pay for the THAAD system to be installed in the country, and he estimated the cost at $1 billion. Trump's comments triggered strong public opposition.

Shim urged the Defense Ministry to immediately stop the installation of the US missile interception system.

On the campaign trail, President Moon Jae-in repeatedly mentioned the need for parliamentary approval and public consensus before deployment of THAAD.

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