South Korea and the United States have agreed to begin negotiations for the deployment of an advanced American air defense system on South Korean soil, officials said Sunday, despite opposition from China and Russia.
The announcement on the controversial defense system, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, was given just hours after North Korea launched a long-range missile as part of the continual push of its intercontinental ballistic missile tests.
“The U.S. and South Korea have decided to start official discussion on the possibility of U.S. Forces Korea’s deployment of THAAD as part of measures to upgrade the South Korea-U.S. alliance’s missile defense posture against North Korea’s advancing threats,” Yoo Jeh-seung, deputy minister for policy, said in a joint briefing with Lt. Gen. Thomas Vandal, the commander of USFK’s Eighth Army.
Vandal said the decision was made upon USFK Commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti’s recommendation, adding that “it is time to move forward on the issue.”