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South Korea defense ministry: THAAD won't hurt environment

Aug. 12 (UPI) — The Ministry of Defense said Saturday the advanced U.S. missile defense system deployed in a southern town won’t cause any adverse effects to the local environment.

Earlier in the day, the defense and environment ministries conducted their joint environmental survey of electromagnetic radiation and noise from the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in Seongju, southeast of Seoul.

Two rocket launchers and a powerful X-band radar are operational at the new U.S. Forces Korea base, formerly a private golf course.

The defense ministry said the radiation level at a spot 100 meters from the radar was measured at 0.01659 watt per square meter on average during a six-minute test. From 500 meters away, it was 0.004136 W/㎡. At 700 meters from the radar, the radiation level was 0.000886 W/㎡. All figures were far below the regulatory protection standard of 10 W/㎡.

The momentary maximum was 0.04634 W/㎡.

The noise level was on par with the maximum regulatory standard in residential areas of 50 decibels.

At 100 meters from the radar, the noise level was 51.9 db, and it was 50.3 db at 500 meters away. At the 700-meter mark, it fell to 47.1 db.

The defense ministry said the nearest residential area is more than a mile away from the THAAD base, and that the noise will have virtually no impact on the community there.

On Thursday, the government postponed the environmental survey plan because of bad weather and fierce protests from activists and local residents who have called on the government to scrap the deployment of THAAD in their area.

Following weeks of interagency discussions, the government has decided to conduct an additional environmental evaluation, a process that will take several more months, before consulting with the USFK on changing the “tentative” THAAD deployment to a permanent basis.

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