South Korea Suspends THAAD Deployment

On June 7, South Korean president Moon Jae-in suspended further deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea. The move comes after revelations the South Korean Ministry of Defense failed to report to President Moon’s government the deployment of four additional THAAD launchers to the country beyond the two launchers already stationed there.  ROK officials announced that the deployment of the additional four launchers will wait until the new administration completes a full environmental assessment. The decision will not affect the two THAAD launchers and radar already deployed in Seongju county, 300 kilometers south of Seoul.

U.S. THAAD batteries typically operate with six launchers.

During his political campaign, President Moon complained that the United States and the previous South Korean administration were rushing to deploy THAAD. The United States has strongly supported its deployment in South Korea to counter the DPRK missile threat. China, however, views the system’s TPY-2 radar as a threat and has pushed back diplomatically and economically against South Korea.

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