|A THAAD Interceptor missile test launch (File Photo)|
SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- A special probe into an alleged omission of a report on a U.S. missile defense system here has confirmed that it was intentional, along with an apparent attempt to make its deployment appear smaller, the presidential office said Monday.
The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said an additional investigation will soon commence to verify the defense ministry's alleged attempt to make the program appear less in size and scale in what appeared to be a move to keep the program away from public scrutiny over its environmental impact.
The special probe came after the presidential office confirmed the previously undisclosed delivery of four rocket launchers to the country as part of the THAAD missile defense program.
The presidential office said Wee Seung-ho, deputy defense minister for policy, had ordered a section about the four THAAD launchers deleted from the ministry's initial report to the presidential office and its de facto power transition team, the State Affairs Planning Advisory Committee.
Wee has apparently admitted to giving such an order, citing an agreement with the United States to keep the details of the THAAD program a secret.
"Wee explained the two THAAD launchers already deployed had been open to the public, but that the government agreed with the United States not to make public the delivery of four additional launchers into the country, and so he ordered that part to be deleted from the report (to the presidential office)," Yoon Young-chan, chief presidential secretary for public relations, told a press briefing.
The defense ministry official has claimed to have planned to report the delivery in person, according to Yoon.
He apparently failed to do so as no one from the presidential office, including the president himself, has acknowledged receiving such a report from Wee.
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