26 May 2017

News Story: Moon's advisory panel briefed on THAAD, other defense issues

SEOUL, May 25 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in's policy advisory panel on Thursday received a defense ministry briefing on the deployment of a U.S. missile defense shield and other key security issues.

The briefing was part of a series of policy presentations to the State Affairs Policy Planning Committee formed to make up for the lack of a transition period for Moon. The new president was sworn in earlier this month without any preparatory time due to the March 10 ouster of his predecessor, Park Geun-hye.

A major issue at the defense briefing was whether the installation of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery to the peninsula requires parliamentary approval although its key elements have already been delivered to the site.

"There was a discussion on that matter," Rep. Kim Byung-kee of the ruling Democratic Party, who serves as a member of the committee's subpanel on security, told reporters.

On his campaign trail, Moon has repeatedly said that the THAAD deployment requires parliamentary ratification, noting that the former government failed to build public consensus on the crucial security decision.

Those supportive of Moon's position have mentioned a constitutional clause stipulating that the legislature has the right to consent to any treaty involving an "important financial obligation." Seoul has provided land worth around 89 billion won (US$79.6 million) to host the U.S. battery.

However, the defense ministry has insisted that the deployment was not a matter for parliamentary consent as it is covered under the South Korea-U.S. mutual defense treaty already approved by the National Assembly.

Read the full story at YonhapNews