21:48 GMT +318 December 2018
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    Two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors are launched during a successful intercept test. (File)

    US Envoy Claims THAAD System Defensive, Other Countries Not Threatened

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    The US THAAD system being deployed in South Korea is defensive and does not jeopardize other countries' security, US Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament Robert Wood said Tuesday.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — The United States has reportedly started the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea. The country's defense ministry was quoted as saying that parts of the system were delivered on Monday to the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 43 miles south of Seoul.

    Speaking at the Conference on Disarmament, Wood said the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is a defensive system designed to counter small- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

    Wood maintained that the deployment near North Korea aims to reduce the threat stemming from Pyongyang, and asserted that it does not undermine other countries' security.

    Robert Wood told Sputnik that the US is in talks with South Korean leadership on the acceleration of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system deployment.

    Wood expressed confidence that the system would be deployed before the end of 2017 or possibly earlier.

    The THAAD battery will reportedly consist of six truck-mounted launchers, 48 interceptors, a fire control and communications unit, as well as an AN/TPY-2 radar.

    According to the South Korean National Defense Ministry, cited by the Yonhap news agency, the first elements of the THAAD battery are to be delivered to the air base south of Seoul by the C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft from the United States on Tuesday.

    The agreement on locating US THAAD in South Korea was reached by Washington and Seoul in July 2016. According to the South Korean National Defense Ministry, the action range of the THAAD countermissiles does not exceed 200 kilometers (124.3 miles). The plans for their deployment, however, prompted objections from Russia and China.

    Last week, the US and South Korean troops also started their large-scale annual Foal Eagle exercises on the South Korean soil, aimed at deterring North Korean aggression, which also provoked concerns in China.

    Related:

    China Warns of 'Consequences' Amid US THAAD Deployment to S Korea
    S Korean Opposition Slams Gov't Over 'Unilateral' Decision to Deploy THAAD
    US THAAD Deployment in S Korea Could Disrupt Strategic Balance
    Tags:
    Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), United States, South Korea
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