The US military said on Monday it had started deploying its anti-missile shield THAAD in South Korea a few hours after the announcement of new ballistic missile tests by North Korea.
South Korea had announced last year that it would accept the deployment of this missile defense system, a system that is viewed with a very bad eye by China as a threat to its security.
US forces “deployed the first elements” of the THAAD system in South Korea on Tuesday (local time), said the command of US forces in the Pacific in a statement.
According to the Pentagon, deploying this system adds an additional level of protection to the existing anti-missile system that protects South Korean territory and the US forces there.
The THAAD system fires missiles designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles while they are still just outside the atmosphere or that they would come in during their last flight phase.
“North Korea’s provocative actions, including the latest missile shots, only confirm the relevance of our decision” with South Korea deploying THAAD in the country, said Admiral Harry Harris, Head of the US forces in the Asia-Pacific region, quoted by the statement.
North Korea fired a ballistic missile salvo to Japan on Monday, forcing Tokyo and Washington to seek a referral from the UN Security Council. Meanwhile, Pyongyang claims to train to hit US bases in Japan.
“The objective” was “to strike the military bases of the US imperialist aggressor in Japan in case of need”. These shots are a demonstration that the North is ready to “strip off the map” enemy forces by means of “a merciless nuclear strike.”