South Korean retail conglomerate Lotte Group has reportedly approved a land swap deal with the military to deploy an advanced US missile defence system between May and July this year.
The defence ministry said, "We have received a notice from Lotte Group that the company has given the green light to the land exchange plan with the military."
The board of directors of the Lotte group passed the proposal to provide its golf course in the southeastern rural county of Seongju for the deployment of the defence system in exchange for a state owned military site near Seoul, the ministry added.
In 2016, South Korea decided to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) on land, due to the threat posed by North Korean missile tests.
A ministry official told Yonhap news agency, "To avoid delays in the installation, the ministry will carry out the process of handing over Lotte's golf course to the U.S. military for THAAD operation and designing the site for a THAAD unit at the same time."
However, Beijing objects to the deployment of Thaad in South Korea as it fears the system's radar could penetrate Chinese territory.
On Monday, a spokesperson for Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang reiterated the objection stating "All the consequences of that are the responsibility of South Korea and the United States."
He added that the installation would not help in maintaining peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and urged Washington and Seoul to not continue with the plan.