Temporary Deployment Of 4 Additional THAAD Launchers Set To Be Completed In The Near Future

Amy Oh, Aug. 24, 2017, 10:55 a.m.

President Moon Jae-in's top security advisor said Thursday that the temporary deployment of four additional launchers of a U.S. missile defense system is expected to be completed "in the near future." Chung Eui-yong, the chief of the National Security Office, made the remarks during a parliamentary budget committee session in response to a question over whether the deployment can be completed within the year.

"(We) anticipate that the deployment of four additional launchers will be completed in the near future," he said.

Soon after North Korea launched another long-range missile on July 28, Moon ordered his government to seek the deployment of additional THAAD launchers to a southern county in addition to the two already deployed launchers.

A THAAD battery consists of six truck-mounted launchers, 48 interceptors (eight per launcher), a fire control and communications unit and an AN/TPY-2 radar.

The full-on deployment of the missile defense system has been suspended pending an environmental impact assessment, which the Moon administration views as a legitimate domestic procedure for any military deployment.

Asked if the Moon administration sees the North's freeze on its nuclear program as a condition for denuclearization negotiations, Chung said that the freeze could be an "entrance" to the negotiations. But he reiterated that the basic position of Seoul and Washington is not to accept the North's possession of nuclear arms.

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