SEOUL, July 14 (Xinhua) — South Korea's decision to comply with the U.S. Pivot-to-Asia strategy by deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system may help the government draw public attention on security threats, experts here said.

"The Park Geun-hye government may have approached the THAAD issue in consideration of the lame duck period," said Kim Yong Hyun, professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University.

Kim said at a forum hosted on Wednesday by the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) that President Park Geun-hye may have thought of the THAAD deployment as an issue capable of drawing public attention on security threats.

When tensions get high on the Korean peninsula, South Korean people tended to vote for conservative candidates. The THAAD deployment caused groundless fears here among the general public that South Korea's territory cannot be protected without the U.S. missile defense system.

Seoul and Washington announced their decision last Friday to deploy one THAAD battery to U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) by the end of next year. Just five days later, the Seongju county, some 300 km southeast of the capital Seoul, was designated as the deployment site.

The ruling Saenuri Party was shockingly defeated by the main opposition Minju Party at the April 13 general elections as public dissatisfactions mounted with a soaring unemployment among college graduates and a widening income inequality between the rich and the poor and between the regular and irregular workers.

The governing party regained its parliamentary majority with those who had defected from the party during the election period returning, but concerns remained ahead of next year's presidential election as President Park's approval rating hovered low following the parliamentary election defeat.

According to a local pollster Realmeter, Park's support rate continued to fall to 33.1 percent in the first week of this month after emotional disputes among people in the country's southeastern region, a traditional home turf for Park and the Saenuri Party, to build a new international airport in their hometown.

To recover the lost support from conservative voters, Park may have sought to attract public attention into security issues by hurriedly announcing the THAAD deployment decision. Park is forecast to make an active use of the THAAD deployment as an engine to bring together her conservative supporters, said Kim at Dongguk University.

However, it will not be easy for Park to gain more approval for her management of state affairs as the site for the U.S. missile defense system was fixed in North Gyeongsang province, Park's political hometown.

It enraged people living in the region, with some writing in blood to express strong oppositions to the deployment of the THAAD, whose X-band radar is known to emit super-strong microwave detrimental to human body.