US Begins THAAD Deployment in South Korea despite Opposition from Russia, China

The US Pacific Command said Monday its military had begun deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea, which is aimed at defending the US ally from a North Korean attack.

Washington and Tokyo sought Monday an emergency UN Security Council meeting after nuclear-armed North Korea fired a defiant salvo of ballistic missiles toward Japan.

South Korea's acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn condemned the launches as a direct challenge to the global community and said Seoul would deploy a United States anti-missile defence system despite objections from China.

North Korea has been subjected to worldwide pressure, including Security Council resolutions, to abandon its arms development and nuclear programs.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said three out of the four DPRK ballistic missiles fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone.

Ms Haley said the U.S. was "not going to leave South Korea standing there with the threat of North Korea facing them and not help".

China immediately reacted with anger, saying it will take "necessary measures" to protect its security interests and warned that the US and South Korea should be prepared to bear the consequences.

Wang proposed that the United States and South Korea suspend the exercises in exchange for North Korea's suspension of missile launches. The official said that the plan was to have the system operational as soon as possible.

South Korea and the U.S. have said the missile system is aimed only at defending against any North Korean missiles.

The first THAAD battery - and now the only deployed system - was set up expediently in Guam several years ago to protect US forces and allies in response to North Korean aggression. "It will also highlight the alliance between South Korea and the U.S.as well as their ties with Japan as part of tactics against THAAD".

North Korea fired the missiles into the sea off Japan's coast in response to the annual U.S.

China objects to THAAD as its radar can penetrate into its territory and its says its presence on the Korean peninsula upsets the regional security balance.

A mutual halt of military operations by all parties would be the first step towards easing tensions and reopening negotiations, he said. The prime minister expressed his view that Tokyo and Washington should have the same strategic objectives, in line with the ongoing review of US policy toward North Korea.

McCain also said if China is anxious about THAAD, it should reign in North Korea.

  • Leroy Wright


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