U.S. and S. Korea requested to integrate missile defense systems in response to N. Korea's missile test

Walter Green, May 16, 2019, 9:29 a.m.

U.S. experts are calling for the missile defense systems of South Korea and the U.S. to be integrated in response to the missiles North Korea has tested recently, according to VOA on Tuesday.

David Maxwell at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told VOA, "This is why we need an integrated system that is multi-layer, because no one defense system defends against all missiles. All the capabilities have to be integrated and brought to bear to defeat the missile threat."

But South Korea has already promised China in talks about the stationing of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. here that it will not join the U.S. anti-missile shield.

"We could have integrated into the U.S. missile defense system years ago and they have not," said Prof. Bruce Bechtol of Angelo State University, formerly of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. "Kill Chain is not what it should be. What the South Koreans need to do is integrate into the U.S. system, and they need to do it tomorrow."

In a debate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on May 7, Col. Chad Skaggs of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command said that Washington regards the integration of missile defense systems with allies as one of its top priorities. He added South Korea is an important ally and the two sides are active in discussing the integration of their systems.

It would in principle not be difficult since the two allies already operate similar weapons.

Shin Jong-woo of the Korea Defense and Security Forum said, "There are no technical problems with the integration of radar detection systems, and that what we should do is just connect them."

The idea is to integrate all information from South Korea's Green Pine radar and U.S. satellite and SBX X-band radar systems and use all missile defense resources of the two countries, including the Patriot 3 and THAAD systems, in defense against North Korean missiles.

But China and Russia will be upset, and a military source said, "It's not a matter that can be discussed in the military but that the president and his government will have to make a decision on."

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