Seoul sees THAAD deployment as helpful to security

Seoul, Jan 29 (IANS) South Korea’s defence ministry on Friday said deploying a US mobile missile defence system, dubbed Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) in the country would be helpful to its security and defence.

Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok saqid he was aware of discussions being made in the US government to deploy the THAAD to the US forces stationed in South Korea, Xinhua reported.

Kim said South Korea has never received any request from the US for the THAAD deployment, but he noted that the deployment of the missile defence system would be helpful to South Korea’s security and defence.

The spokesman added that the South Korean government will review all possible measures to defend the country against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

His comments came after Pyongyang claimed on January 6 that it had tested its first hydrogen bomb. Seoul forecast a long-range ballistic missile launch by North Korea at any time as a follow-up provocation to the nuclear test.

North Korea had test-fired long-range ballistic missiles months before or after its three previous atomic bomb tests. Two months before its third nuclear test in February 2013, North Korea put a satellite into orbit with a three-stage Unha-3 rocket which Seoul and Washington saw a ballistic missile.

Kim said the ministry was collecting and analysing information on the THAAD to determine the military feasibility of the mobile missile defence system.

The THAAD, developed by the US defence company Lockheed Martin, was designed to shoot down missiles at an altitude of 40-150 km.

South Korea was developing its own missile defence technology, called Korea Air and Missile Defence (KAMD), to intercept missiles at an altitude of less than 40 km.

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