Posted May. 31, 2017 07:07,
Updated May. 31, 2017 07:27
President Moon Jae-in ordered on Tuesday a probe into what the presidential office called the undisclosed entry of four rocket launchers of the U.S. missile defense program. It is the first time Moon made an order on the U.S. THAAD system since his inauguration.
"President Moon was briefed on that fact that four additional rocket launchers were secretly brought into the country," Moon's chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan told a press briefing. "He ordered his senior secratary for civil affars and National Security Office chief to find out how and why the additional rocket launchers were brought into the country."
Yoon said the president was shocked to learn of the existence of four more rocket launchers, and called Defense Minister Han Min-koo to confirm.
The Presidential Office believes that the Defense Ministry intentionally hid the entry of the additional equipment. The ministry failed to report the fact to the new government during its national affairs policy briefing to the de facto presidential transition team on May 25. "The president ordered to find out how the four additional rocket launchers were brought into the country, who made such a decision, why this has not been disclosed to the public and why this has not been reported to the new government even to date," Yoon said. "Moon also ordered an investigation on whether it was intended to avoid scrunity over the possible impact of rocket launchers could have on the environment."
President Moon's order is a sign of national defense reform. Starting with the probe on the entry of the additional equipment, the Presidential Office is expected to seek resolutions to THAAD issue in earnest. "It is also a kind of gesture toward China that has been opposing to the deployment," a presidential office source said. "By retracing the THAAD deployment process of the former government, problems and resolutions could be obtained."