THAAD in South Korea 'Will Be Operational in the Coming Days'

© REUTERS / USFK/YonhapTerminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors arrive at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, in this handout picture provided by the United States Forces Korea (USFK) and released by Yonhap on March 7, 2017. Picture taken on March 6, 2017
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors arrive at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, in this handout picture provided by the United States Forces Korea (USFK) and released by Yonhap on March 7, 2017. Picture taken on March 6, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The US Terminal-High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea will soon become operational, US Pacific Command Commander Admiral Harry Harris said on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, South Korean media reported that THAAD deployment was underway at a site in the Seongju County despite massive protests of local residents.

"THAAD…will be operational in the coming days," Harris said in a testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.

South Korea approved the land transfer deal needed to provide land for the anti-ballistic missile system under its forces hosting agreement with the United States on Thursday. Installation work started shortly after despite local protests and the fact that the environmental impact assessment was still incomplete.

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Pacific Ocean January 30, 2017 - Sputnik International
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On March 8, components for the THAAD system began to arrive in South Korea as Seoul wanted the system to be deployed rapidly in response to the threat from North Korea’s ballistic missile tests.

Seoul and Washington first agreed to deploy THAAD in July 2016. The system is designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles at the terminal incoming stage.

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