The South Korean Defence Ministry revealed that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile-defence system will be deployed to Seongju, located in the southeastern party of the county.
“By operating the US THAAD battery in Seongju, we will be able to better protect one half to two-thirds of our citizens from North Korean nuclear and missile threats,” the ministry said in a statement.
“It will dramatically strengthen the military capabilities and readiness to defend critical national infrastructure such as nuclear power plants and oil storage facilities, as well as the military forces of the South Korea-US alliance.”
Meanwhile, North Korea’s military threatened to retaliate with a “physical response” once the location of THAAD was decided.
South Korea’s defence ministry in conjunction with the US plans to have the unique air defence system operational by the end of 2017. Earlier this month, the Pentagon agreed to equip South Korea with the advanced missile system.
“Oh, it’s going to happen. It’s a necessary thing,” US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said during a discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York in April. “We need to defend our own people. We need to defend our own allies. And we’re going to do that.”
Currently, there are five THAAD batteries — each of approximately 100 soldiers — assigned to Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas. One of those batteries was deployed to Guam in April 2013 in order to deter North Korean provocations and further defend the Pacific region.
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