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The completion of THAAD environmental impact assessment

The completion of THAAD environmental impact assessment, delayed by the previous government, has led the Yoon administration to expedite the ‘normalization of the THAAD base in Seongju’

- The maximum emission of electromagnetic waves from the THAAD base was found to be only 0.2% of the legal safety protection standard, which is negligible... The government will implement a project that reflects full results of consultation, and they will do their best in following up

The Ministry of Environment (Minister Han Hwa-jin) and the Ministry of National Defense (Minister Lee Jong-sup) announced that on June 21, they completed consultations on the environmental impact assessment for the THAAD base in Seongju ("Seongju Base"), which was previously received by the Defense Ministry (Defense Installations Agency) on May 11.

While the Seongju Base underwent a small-scale environmental impact assessment consultation conducted by the Daegu Regional Environmental Office on September 4, 2017, this recent assessment, which was a preliminary step toward normalization of the Seongju Base, was made for the entire base, including the site consulted by the Daegu Regional Environmental Office.

Among the assessment consultations, the residents were most concerned about the electromagnetic waves. To address this, the Ministry of Environment thoroughly reviewed the measurement data provided by the Defense Ministry (Air Force) and the Korea Radio Promotion Association,* a reliable third-party organization. This review was done in collaboration with relevant professional institutions and experts. They found that the maximum emission of electromagnetic waves from the THAAD base was only 0.2%** of the legal safety protection standard. This is a negligible amount and poses no harm to the human body or the environment.

* Korea Radio Promotion Association: a reliable specialized institution established pursuant to Article 66-2 of the Radio Waves Act

** the maximum emission of electromagnetic waves measured was 0.018870 W/㎡, which is 0.189% (1/530) of the legal safety protection standard (10 W/㎡)

Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry lifted restrictions that had been in place since September 2022 on transporting supplies, troops, and equipment. This allows South Korean and United States soldiers at the Seongju Base to carry out their duties seamlessly. Additionally, the second site provision (400,000 ㎡), which had been delayed following the first one in 2017, was completed in September 2022, laying the groundwork for normal operations at the base.

Moreover, to promote the development of the area around the Seongju Base and to enhance the welfare of the residents, the relevant ministries began discussions in August 2022. These discussions culminated in establishment of 24 comprehensive resident support project plans in April 2023. The measures, which include revising laws and regulations and finalizing budget, are expected to be completed by the end of this year. This will allow the projects to begin next year.

Kim Jong-ryul, Director-General of the Nature Conservation Bureau, and Park Seung-heung, Director of Military Facility Planning at the Ministry of National Defense, stated, “The Ministries of Environment and Defense have jointly completed the environmental impact assessment for the Seongju Base. We will continue to work closely with the United States to ensure that the projects are carried out by faithfully reflecting the opinions of the consultation.” They added, “According to the Evaluation Act, once the projects are confirmed by incorporating the results of the consultation, these findings must be notified within 30 days. In the future, we will also diligently follow up by reviewing the results.”


  • (Presentation and Follow-on discussion)