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The Constitutional Court has rejected a petition from residents near a site housing a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense(THAAD) system to scrap the deployment.
The justices of the court unanimously dismissed the petition filed by 392 residents of Seongju and Gimcheon, who argued that clauses in the Mutual Defense Treaty between South Korea and the United States and the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that served as the basis for the THAAD deployment were unconstitutional.
Article Four of the treaty states that South Korea grants, and the United States accepts, the right to dispose of U.S. land, air and sea forces in and about the territory of South Korea as determined by mutual agreement.
In April 2017, the South Korea-U.S. joint committee of the SOFA approved part of a golf course in Seongju as the site for the THAAD.
Later that year, a group of Seongju and Gimcheon residents filed an administrative suit against the foreign minister demanding the retraction of use of land as the THAAD base.
But the suit was dismissed in the first and second trials, and the Supreme Court also upheld the ruling earlier this year, saying that the matter cannot be subject to administrative litigation.
The Constitutional Court said that the petition is unlawful as it lacks the premise for trial.