05:16 GMT09 March 2021
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    Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada is expected to pay a two-day visit to the US territory of Guam on Thursday in order to see the newest Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) During the trip, the minister will see the THAAD battery installed at the Andersen Air Force Base in 2013 in response to North Korean Hwasong-10 intermediate-range ballistic missile tests.

    THAAD is seen as an important means of defense against North Korea by South Korea as well. In July, Seoul and Washington agreed to deploy a THAAD battery in South Korea's Seongju County. The Guam battery has been displayed to South Korean representatives the same month.

    The THAAD system is designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles at the terminal incoming stage. The US-South Korean move has been criticized by neighboring China and Russia as inappropriate, possibly disproportionate and affecting other countries' interests.

    The situation on the Korean Peninsula has become more heated over recent months, with North Korea boosting its ballistic missile and nuclear tests and the United States ramping up its military presence in South Korea.

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