SEOUL – The United States has started to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) anti-missile system to South Korea, US Pacific Command said in a statement on Tuesday (March 7).
The system will be deployed to counter ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile tests from North Korea, the statement said.
“Continued provocative actions by North Korea, to include yesterday’s launch of multiple missiles, only confirm the prudence of our alliance decision last year to deploy Thaad to South Korea,” US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris said in the statement.
Yonhap news agency on Tuesday cited the South Korean military as saying some of the parts of the US system have arrived in South Korea.
Seoul has said it needs the Thaad system for its national security, given the nuclear threats from North Korea. In its latest missile launch, the reclusive state fired four ballistic missiles on Monday, three of them landing in Japan’s exclusive economic zones.
But China objects to the Thaad deployment, saying its territory is the target of the system’s far-reaching radar.
Beijing is widely believed in South Korea to be retaliating against some of its companies and cancelling performances by Korean artists after South Korea’s decision to deploy the Thaad system.
Chinese authorities have closed nearly two dozens of Lotte Group’s retail stores following inspections, Lotte said on Monday.
The incidents come after Lotte approved a land swap outside Seoul last week that will allow South Korea to install the Thaad system. – Agency