U.S. deploys anti-ballastic missile defence system to South Korea

-South Korean military exercise on March 1 created to test defenses against potential North Korean aggression.

Pyongyang regularly issues threats against its enemies, and carried out two atomic tests and a series of missile launches past year, but yesterday was only the second time its devices have come down in Japan's EEZ.

China, who along with Russian Federation has vehemently opposed Thaad's deployment, was not notified of Monday's arrival in advance, according to South Korea's military.

The launch was an apparent reaction to huge military drills by the US and South Korea that the North insists are an invasion rehearsal.

Nuclear-armed North Korea's launch of four missiles was a training exercise for a strike on USA bases in Japan and supervised by leader Kim Jong-Un, Pyongyang's state media said on Tuesday.

The missiles flew about 1000 kilometers (620 miles), with all four landing in the sea - three of them within Japan's exclusive economic zone.

Kim noted that the four missiles, launched simultaneously, "are so accurate that they look like acrobatic flying corps in formation", according to the report.

The White House said earlier the USA would be taking steps to boost defences against ballistic missiles, including the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) defensive missile system in South Korea.

It's that time of year again; North Korea usually registers its displeasure over the annual U.S.

The statement from the Pacific Command, which oversees USA military operations in the Asia-Pacific, pointed out that the system is "a strictly defensive capability and it poses no threat to other countries in the region".

NBC said the missile defense system is called THAAD, which stands for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.

THAAD is comprised of three parts - radar, command-and-control and a missile launcher.

Pyongyang threatened last week to conduct more test launches in response to military exercises between Seoul and Washington that began on Wednesday and are due to last through April. The system is specifically created to destroy short- and medium-range ballistic missiles at endo- and exo-atmospheric altitude up to heights of 90 miles.

This photo of a surface-to-surface medium-long range missile was released by North Korea last month.

While defense officials stress that THAAD "is strictly a defensive system", it has caused controversy.

U.S. officials held telephone calls afterward with counterparts in Japan and South Korea, which rely on the United States for security.

A foreign ministry spokesman said China will "resolutely take necessary measures to defend our own security interest". "All consequences entailed from this will be borne by the USA and the Republic of Korea".

North Korea's ambassador to the UN, Ja Song-nam, said the joint exercises were driving the region towards nuclear disaster.

  • Leroy Wright