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Cheong Wa Dae says THAAD a measure to protect country from N. Korean threat

South Korea has no plan for changes to its agreement with the United States that will fundamentally change the ongoing deployment of the THAAD missile defense system here, a senior security advisor to South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Friday.

"Our government plans to deal with the THAAD deployment with a few principles while being fully aware of North Korea's nuclear and missile threats," Chung Eui-yong, the head of the presidential National Security Office, told reporters.

"First of all, the government has no intention to fundamentally change what it has promised under the Korea-US alliance," he added.

Chung's remarks followed the end of a special probe by the presidential office, which concluded the country's defense ministry had sought to keep the US missile shield safe from a full-blown environmental impact assessment, which would have taken months before its deployment could begin.

A senior Cheong Wa Dae official has also noted the outcome of the probe would keep the still-ongoing deployment suspended for at least months, apparently prompting suspicions in Washington that Seoul's new liberal administration may be seeking to withdraw the former administration's agreement for the THAAD deployment.

Prior to his election last month, Moon had often expressed his opposition of the THAAD deployment, insisting it required approval by South Korea's parliament.

"The THAAD deployment was a decision made to protect South Korea and US Forces Korea from North Korea's evolving threats, and we will not handle such a decision lightly just because there has been a government change," Chung said. "Also, we will continue to closely consult with the United States." (Yonhap)