S Korea completes land provision deal with USFK for THAAD site

Updated 2017-04-21 09:31:05 Xinhua

South Korea on Thursday completed a deal to provide U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) with land which had been acquired from Lotte Group earlier this year to deploy the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.

Around 300,000 square meters of land out of the 1.48 million square meters of the golf course, for which Seoul's military had swapped its land near Seoul, was offered to the USFK to operate the U.S. missile shield, Newsis news agency reported, citing the defense ministry.

The deal was reached about 50 days after the foreign ministry's launch of negotiations with the USFK to provide land for military purpose according to the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

The rest of procedures necessary to deploy the THAAD battery would be led by the defense ministry, including an environmental assessment and the construction of facilities inside the base.

The defense ministry had prepared for the environmental assessment on the THAAD site, located at the Soseongri village in Seongju county, South Gyeongsang province.

Earlier in the day, two USFK soldiers drove two payloaders into the golf course while residents and peace activists tussled with police officers to block the entry. Two residents were wounded and taken to a nearby hospital.

The payloader is a construction machine used to flatten or excavate soil. Last week, South Korean military airlifted heavy construction equipments by helicopter as residents have been on the guard alongside the entrance road to the THAAD site.

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