SK punishes aide in furor over THAAD

"The first draft of the defense ministry report clearly states the storage location of six THAAD system launchers including the four that had been brought in additionally".

"I assured him that my conversations with our military leaders made it clear that they don't want to cut any corners or ask for any special treatment when it comes to environment standards".

President Moon emphasized the interrogation is a domestic measure to secure procedural legitimacy regarding the THAAD installation, allaying concerns that the new government is moving to reverse the previous administration's decision to deploy the US antimissile battery.

The US has denied misleading its allies.

The spokesman then said Durbin had "expressed surprise" with President Moon Jae-in regarding the controversy around THAAD deployment.

The North regularly threatens to destroy the United States and says its missile and nuclear programmes are needed to counter US aggression. "Even if THAAD is deployed, there ought to be a process of assuaging domestic opposition, helping the Americans save face and seeking China's understanding as much as possible", said a senior official at the Blue House.

The agreement between the United States and South Korea not to make it public to people can not indicate no report to President Moon, the senior press secretary told reporters.

During his election campaign prior to the May 9 election, Moon had urged a parliamentary review of the controversial deployment.

The move came one day after President Moon Jae-in personally ordered a thorough study on the environmental impact of the advanced missile shield, which, when fully deployed, will consist of at least six rocket launchers with 48 rockets created to intercept aerial threats flying over the peninsula.

The rushed deployment took place before an environmental study was concluded. "I think national security and defense should dominate", he added. The new launchers are in addition to two that had already been installed.

Moon ordered a separate investigation into the defense ministry suspected of trying to avoid the environmental assessment on the USA missile defense system at a golf course in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province. The ministry said it chose to conduct a summary study because the antimissile system takes up less than 100,000 square meters (24.7 acres).

South Korea's diplomatic tensions with China may weigh heavily on their upcoming talks on extending the bilateral currency swap deal, South Korea's central bank said Monday. The law requires a full-scale environmental study when the site is larger than 330,000 square meters, it said. "We expect a discussion at the National Assembly that will add to democratic and procedural legitimacy". Given the revelation that the Defense Ministry hurried to deploy THAAD before the presidential election and then tried to hide related information after power changed hands, there will nearly certainly be an investigation of the entire process of the previous administration's reckless deployment of THAAD.

  • Leroy Wright