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S.Korea sees THAAD deployment as helpful to security

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 15:09, January 29, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 29 -- South Korea's defense ministry said Friday that deploying a U.S. mobile missile defense system, dubbed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in the country, would be helpful to its security and defense.

Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told a press briefing that he was aware of discussions being made in the U.S. government to deploy the THAAD to the U.S. forces stationed in South Korea.

Kim said South Korea has never received any request from the United Statesfor the THAAD deployment, but he noted that the deployment of the missile defense system would be helpful to South Korea's security and defense.

The spokesman added that the South Korean government will review all possible measures to defend the country against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s nuclear and missile threats.

His comments came after Pyongyang claimed on Jan. 6 that it had tested its first hydrogen bomb. Seoul forecast a long-range ballistic missile launch by the DPRK at any time as a follow-up provocation to the nuclear test.

The DPRK had test-fired long-range ballistic missiles months before or after its three previous atomic bomb tests. Two months before its third nuclear test in February 2013, the DPRK put a satellite into orbit with a three-stage Unha-3 rocket which Seoul and Washington saw a ballistic missile.

Kim said the ministry is collecting and analyzing information on the THAAD to determine the military feasibility of the mobile missile defense system.

The THAAD, developed by the U.S. defense company Lockheed Martin, is designed to shoot down missiles at an altitude of 40-150 km. South Korea is developing its own missile defense technology, called Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD), to intercept missiles at an altitude of less than 40 km.



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