THAAD Operational in S. Korea

THAAD Operational in S. KoreaTHAAD Operational in S. Korea

The US military’s THAAD anti-missile system is now operational in South Korea, according to US officials.

The system’s deployment to defend against a North Korean missile threat has become an issue in the South Korea’s upcoming presidential election and with China, which is concerned that the system’s long-range radar could track Chinese missile systems.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense is an advanced defensive anti-missile system that incorporates a long-range radar used to track incoming ballistic missiles in their terminal phase of flight, ABC News reported.

The system’s deployment to South Korea was agreed to in July of last year, but the initial components of the THAAD system did not arrive in South Korea until the first week in March. The arrival coincided with a North Korean launch of multiple ballistic missiles.

The system’s deployment is receiving a mixed response in South Korea. Early last week, protesters greeted the system’s components as they arrived at its operational location, a former golf course, located 130 miles southeast of Seoul.

The anti-missile system has also become an issue in South Korea’s presidential election being held on May 9.

Moon Jae-in, the leading presidential candidate, has criticized the THAAD deployment and believes that it should be up to a new administration to decide whether the system should be deployed.

The United States has maintained that the system is purely defensive, but China has criticized the system’s radar as a potential hedge to its ballistic missile development.

China has placed sanctions on major South Korean businesses to show its disapproval of the system’s deployment.

The THAAD missile system will add another layer of anti-missile defense for South Korea. The US military and South Korea both have Patriot anti-missile batteries that can defend against short-range missiles.


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