The defense ministry says it plans to conduct additional environmental tests next week and hold a dicussion session with members of the local community this Thursday about the permanent deployment of the THAAD system.
The South Korean government on Thursday postponed a formal environmental survey on the the advanced US missile defense system deployed in a southern town due to a fierce protest by local residents and activists.
According to the Yonhap news agency, experts from defense and environment ministries arrived in Seongju on Saturday, some 186 miles southeast of Seoul, to study electromagnetic radiation and noise from THAAD. THAAD is created to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase.
"We have made a decision to put it off in consideration of various on-site conditions", Army Col. But when resident objections at the scene that morning proved fiercer than anticipated, the decision was made that there was "no reason to go overboard", a Ministry of National Defense official said. USFK soldiers were previously condemned for their "disdainful" behavior during the driving of THAAD launcher vehicles to the Seongju golf course site in April, including grinning and taking pictures of the clash between police and residents trying to stop the delivery.
Their collective action to thwart the environmental survey was widely expected.