South Korea's Lotte Group approves land swap deal for Thaad deployment

27 approved the handover of the golf course in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, to the government for the deployment of the controversial USA missile defense system.

The contract will officially be signed on Tuesday, the official told CNN.

According to the Ministry of National Defense, the Lotte Group's golf course operator approved the action at a board of directors' meeting.

The Defense Ministry is eyeing Seongju County's Lotte Skyhill Country Club golf course, owned by the Lotte Group, for the land needed to deploy THAAD.

On Monday, a spokesperson for Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang reiterated the objection stating "All the consequences of that are the responsibility of South Korea and the United States".

After another review, the Defense Ministry decided upon Lotte Skyhill golf course on September 30 as the new location to place the Thaad battery.

If the transfer and the design and development take place at the same time, the process can be completed as targeted, he said.

Local news agency Yonhap reported that the military will streamline the process with a view to installing THAAD within three months. Park was impeached in December over a massive corruption scandal.

The Chinese government indicated plans for additional retaliatory steps.

However, Beijing objects to the deployment of Thaad in South Korea as it fears the system's radar could penetrate Chinese territory.

In July past year, South Korea and the US announced that they will deploy a THAAD battery here to better counter North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats.

China will take necessary measures to safeguard its security interests, and the USA and the ROK will have to bear all the resulting consequences, the spokesperson said.

Last year Pyongyang detonated two nuclear devices and test-fired 24 ballistic missiles and long-range rockets ignoring warnings by the United Nations. Beijing has been vocally expressing disapproval since Seoul and Washington agreed to deploy the missile defense system. This would amount to a full battery with eight missiles in each launcher.

  • Leroy Wright