15:33 GMT29 October 2020
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    The United States, aside from deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea, plans to set up a THAAD-like naval system, equipping Seoul’s warships located off the coast of the Korean Peninsula with interceptor missiles by 2020, local media reported Wednesday, citing a military source.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) – According to the Chunan Ilbo newspaper, the South Korean Navy has signed a deal with the US arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin on equipping warships with missiles capable of intercepting North Korean ballistic missiles. Currently, Seoul’s ships are able to detect missiles thanks to the SPY-1D radar, but cannot intercept them.

    "Next destroyer [to enter South Korean Navy] will have that ability," the newspaper quoted its military source as saying.

    Two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors are launched during a successful intercept test.
    © REUTERS / U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency/Handout
    Hence, South Korea could gain a "sea-based THAAD," the paper reported, citing the head of Korea Defense and Security Forum.

    In July, South Korea and the United States announced that they had agreed to deploy the system in the South Korean Seongju County amid increased tensions on the peninsula over North Korea's nuclear and missile program.


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