Seoul has no plan to adopt US high altitude defence system

Seoul, Oct 5 (IANS) South Korea has no plan yet to adopt the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system of US although its local deployment could benefit the military, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman-designate said on Monday.

“At this moment, the military does not have any plan to introduce THAAD,” Yonhap news agency quoted Army General Lee Sun-jin as saying on Monday.

“The military is trying to deploy weapon systems within the Korean Air and Missile Defence (KAMD) system,” he said.

Further asked whether KAMD, the local defence system, is sufficient to defend the country, Lee said KAMD needs further development.

“Any deployment of THAAD will be determined in consideration of military benefits and national interest,” he said.

Talking about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, Lee said Pyongyang is believed to have miniaturised nuclear weapons “to a considerable extent”, but whether the country has deployed them for combat use has not been confirmed yet.

Lee was named as the next Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman last month to succeed Choi Yoon-hee, whose two-year term ends in mid-October.

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