Seoul Divided on Proposed THAAD Introduction
Washington's desire to deploy its advanced missile defense system in South Korea remains a serious cause of concern in Seoul and also in China and Russia, media reported on Thursday.
The Pentagon has expressed its willingness to deploy a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery on the Korean Peninsula, home to about 28,500 American troops, to better cope with the perceived threat of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile capabilities, Yonhap news agency reported.
So far, the Seoul government has insisted that there have been no official consultations between the allies, no request from the US and no decision made on the matter.
Defense Minister Han Min-koo said the new weapon would enhance the security of the Korean Peninsula, even though Seoul had no immediate plans to purchase the system.
Critics of the possible deployment of the US missiles cite concerns raised by China, warning about "possible serious side effects on Seoul-Beijing relations
They also believe this could be part of a broader US attempt to get the Asian ally to join its missile-defense system.
Instead of joining the US system, however, South Korea has been developing its own Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD), a low-tier air defense program, and the Kill Chain, which is designed to launch strikes right after signs are detected of imminent nuclear or missile attack on the country, the Yonhap report said.
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