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Sth Korea golf course set for missile unit

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South Korea's military aims to deploy an advanced US missile defence unit on a golf course, a defence ministry official said on Friday, after it had to scrap its initial site for the battery in the face of opposition from residents.

Tension on the Korean peninsula has been high this year, beginning with North Korea's fourth nuclear test in January, which was followed by a satellite launch, a string of tests of various missiles, and its fifth and largest nuclear test this month.

In July, South Korea agreed with the United States that a US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile unit would be deployed in the Seongju region, southeast of the capital Seoul, to defend the country.

But residents of the melon-farming area protested over worries about the safety of the system's powerful radar and the likelihood it would be a target for North Korea, which warned of retaliation, if war broke out.

The plan to deploy the system has also angered China, which worries that the THAAD's powerful radar would compromise its security.

The new site for the missile battery would be a golf course at the high-end Lotte Skyhill Seongju Country Club, the ministry official told Reuters, confirming media reports.

The club is owned by the Lotte Group conglomerate and had been considered as an alternative due to its high altitude and accessibility for military vehicles, the defence official said.

It was not clear how the military would acquire the property, reportedly worth about 100 billion won ($A119 million).

The military analysed three possible locations for the system and found the golf course to be the most feasible, the defence official said, as the other two would require additional engineering which would delay the deployment.

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