Sputnik — The floor leader of the South Korean ruling Democratic Party, Woo Won-shik, said Wednesday Seoul would consider the possibility of uninstalling and sending the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system back to the United States.
"We have to look into issues including the possibility of sending back THAAD, if it has not properly undergone domestic legal procedures," Yonhap news agency quoted Woo as saying during a radio interview.
The parliamentarian referred to the lack of parliamentary approval of this crucial national security decision.
The statement comes after a statement made by US President Donald Trump in late April, in which he informed Seoul that "it would be appropriate if they paid" for the deployment of a US THAAD system on South Korean soil.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who officially assumed office on May 10, has repeatedly criticized the previous government under impeached leader Park Geun-hye for agreeing to host the THAAD system without seeking parliamentary approval.
In April, media reported, citing a US military official, that the THAAD system in South Korea would be operational in the very near future.
In July 2016, Washington and Seoul reached an agreement on placing a US THAAD system in South Korean territory. In early March the THAAD deployment began in response to North Korea’s ballistic missile tests. The move provoked sharp criticism by a number of countries, including China, which claimed the installment of the missile defense system would undermine its security.