Constitutional Court rejects petitions against THAAD deployment

The Constitutional Court on Thursday rejected two petitions to outlaw the government's decision to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system in a southeastern county, saying the system does not violate the basic rights of nearby residents. South Korea's government agreed with the U.S. in 2016 to install the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in Seongju, 217 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and the deployment of the launch pad and attached equipment began the following year. Then a group of Seongju residents and Won Buddhism followers filed petitions with the Constitutional Court in April 2017, contending that the THAAD deployment may infringe on their right to live in a safe environment due to electromagnetic waves and noise from radars. But the Constitutional Court refused to recognize the possibility of the THAAD deployment accord violating the Seongju residents' basic rights. "It is difficult to say that the plaintiffs' health and environmental rights are directly violated by the ag reement (on the THAAD deployment). Even if there are such concerns, that could potentially appear in the process of operating the THAAD system by U.S. Forces Korea," the court said Source: Yonhap News Agency