Defense ministry says THAAD radar won’t cause environmental damage

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SEONGJU  — The Ministry of Defense said Saturday the advanced US missile defense system deployed in a southern town won’t cause any adverse effects to the local environment.

Earlier in the day, the defense and environment ministries conducted their joint environmental survey of electromagnetic radiation and noise from the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in Seongju, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

Two rocket launchers and a powerful X-band radar are operational at the new US Forces Korea base, formerly a private golf course.

Officials from the defense and environment ministries conduct a joint environmental survey of electromagnetic radiation and noise of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, on Aug. 12, 2017. (Yonhap)

The defense ministry said the radiation level at a spot 100 meters from the radar was measured at 0.01659 watt per square meter on average during a six-minute test. From 500 meters away, it was 0.004136 W/㎡. At 700 meters from the radar, the radiation level was 0.000886 W/㎡. All figures were far below the regulatory protection standard of 10 W/㎡.

The momentary maximum was 0.04634 W/㎡.

The noise level was on par with the maximum regulatory standard in residential areas of 50 decibels.

At 100 meters from the radar, the noise level was 51.9 db, and it was 50.3 db at 500 meters away. At the 700-meter mark, it fell to 47.1 db.

The defense ministry said the nearest residential area is more than 2 km away from the THAAD base, and that the noise will have virtually no impact on the community there.

On Thursday, the government postponed the environmental survey plan because of bad weather and fierce protests from activists and local residents who have called on the government to scrap the deployment of THAAD in their area.

Following weeks of interagency discussions, the government has decided to conduct an additional environmental evaluation, a process that will take several more months, before consulting with the USFK on changing the “tentative” THAAD deployment to a permanent basis. (Yonhap)


Source  :  Korea Herald


Nicola Powell: How much are Canberra buyers borrowing?

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Choose carefully when it comes to your home loan.Choose carefully when it comes to your home loan. Photo: Jim Rice

Home loans have reached record highs in recent years, a clear reflection of buyers keeping pace with market strength and utilising historically low rates.

A suite of measures have been implemented in order to contain excessively high levels of lending, with regulators enforcing tougher lending standards, banks moving interest rates higher, new loan applications scrutinised and a tougher stance when assessing borrower income.

Changeover mortgage commitments (also referred to as non-first homebuyers) dipped 6.6 per cent to 984 loans financed throughout June, according to the latest figures released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is the seventh highest monthly figure on record. The monthly drop to activity levels follows on from the second highest changeover loans ever recorded last month.

Despite the slight activity cool, the 2016-17 financial year closed with the second highest changeover buyer loans financed on record. There were 10,687 changeover buyer loans approved last financial year, dipping marginally by 0.7 per cent compared to the prior financial year, this only equates to 78 fewer loans approved. Considering the speculative direction of interest rates, a level of easing is to be anticipated.

The average changeover loan size reached the seventh-highest monthly value on record at $373,600, with purchasers borrowing an additional $3,100 compared to June last year. The average size has grown considerably over the past twenty years. June 1997 the average changeover loan size was $109,700, in the next ten years the average loan more than doubled to $278,100 in June 2007.

Entry-level participation surged to 18.9 per cent of the owner-occupied mortgage market, with 229 buyers hopping onto the property ladder during June. This is the highest number of first homebuyer loans financed in the month of June since 1994. The 2016-17 financial year closed with a higher first homebuyer participation rate than the previous, with 1,833 loans approved accounting for 14.6 per cent of the overall owner-occupied loan market.

Loan capacity dropped by $22,400 annually with first homebuyers borrowing on average $294,300. Values remain well below the December 2015 peak of $344,800. In June 1997 the average first home loan was $96,300, by June 2007 the value jumped to $222,700.

The new financial year has seen initiatives activated by the NSW Government designed to ignite entry-level activity. Stamp duty has now been axed in NSW for new and established homes up to the value of $650,000 with a sliding scale of concession in place for homes between $650,000 and $800,000. The impact on the ACT first homebuyer market is inevitable, encouraging buyers to purchase across the border.

Looking ahead, if the speculative rise to rates ensues and wages growth remains flat it will create a tough environment for homeowners to service repayments. It is imperative to factor future rate hikes to avoid mortgage stress.

Nicola Powell is a property expert for Allhomes. Twitter: @DocNicolaPowell


Source  :  All Homes