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USFK commander mentions deployment of THAAD to S. Korea

Posted June. 04, 2014 07:34,   


The commander of U.S. troops stationed in Korea said on Tuesday that he had proposed Pentagon to deploy the THHAD (Theater High Altitude Area Defense) missiles to South Korea. It is the first time that the U.S. officially admitted the deployment of the advanced missile-defense system, an issue that has been raised by U.S. media recently.

“The U.S. Department of Defense is initially studying the defense system’s deployment to Korea,” General Curtis Scaparrotti, the commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, said in a defense forum hosted by the Korea Institute of Defense Analyses at Westin Chosun in downtown Seoul. “The deployment will be decided through discussions between the U.S. and Korea.” In response to China’s claim that the deployment of the THAAD to Korea could bring tensions in Northeast Asia, the commander said, “It focuses only on countering North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.”

The THAAD is a key system of the low-level air defense in the U.S. missile defense system and can intercept missiles at an altitude of 40 – 150 kilometers. If it is deployed to Korea, it will counter missiles at an altitude of 40 kilometers or higher and Korea’s patriot missiles (PAC-3 and PAC-2) will intercept the enemy’s missiles at lower altitudes.

The attempt to deploy the THAAD to South Korea may reflect that the U.S. takes North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats very seriously. A military source said that the U.S. Department of Defense would deploy two or three THAAD batteries to its key U.S. military bases including Osan and Pyeongtaek within this year at the earliest.