The South Korean National Assembly's defense committee said Friday it will hold a special gathering with the country's defense minister next week to discuss the deployment of an advanced U.S. anti-missile system as well as North Korea's on-going provocations.
The move came as the discussion centering on the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in the country is fueling social discord and affecting state affairs, at a time when North Korea's test-firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile on Wednesday is triggering security concerns.
"We plan to review the defense ministry's preparations against North Korea's provocations," an official from the committee said, adding Defense Minister Han Min-koo will be present at the meeting slated for Monday.
The National Assembly plans to receive updates on deciding an alternative site for the THAAD, amid protests from residents who are angered by the prospect of the missile system being deployed nearby.
Lawmakers will also study deeper into the development of missile technologies by Pyongyang, as the latest launch of an SLBM has been viewed as a success. The South Korean military earlier said it flew about 500 kilometers toward Japan, making it the longest flight by such a Pyongyang-made missile.
While the ruling Saenuri Party has been calling for stronger actions to tackle Pyongyang's provocations, with some right-leaning lawmakers insisting on developing Seoul's own nukes, the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea claims South Korea should take a more peaceful approach.
Some Minjoo lawmakers have also suggested Seoul should scrap its plan to deploy the THAAD on its soil, as the move may make Beijing and Moscow uncomfortable, and eventually raise tensions in Northeast Asia. This view is shared by the minor opposition People's Party which called for a nationwide vote on the deployment. (Yonhap)