Friday, July 8, 2016

US sends THAAD system to South Korea


South Korean deputy defence minister Yoo Jeh-seung with the commander of US forces Lt Gen Thomas Vandal.
US and South Korean military officials have said they are ready to deploy an advanced US missile defence system in South Korea to cope with North Korean threats.

Worries about North Korea grew last month when, after a string of failures, it finally sent a new mid-range ballistic missile more than 870 miles (1,400km) high.
Analysts say the high-altitude flight of the Musudan missile meant that North Korea had made progress in its push to be able to strike US forces throughout the region. The Musudan’s potential 3,500km range puts much of Asia and the Pacific within reach.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system was necessary for the United States to protect itself and regional allies from North Korean missile attacks.

The United States and South Korea agreed to begin talks on possible THAAD deployment last month after North Korea tested its fourth nuclear bomb on Jan. 6 and launched a long-range rocket on Feb. 7. China backed tough new sanctions on North Korea following the tests but has voiced opposition to THAAD as its radar has a range that would extend far beyond the Korean peninsula and into China.
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is a United States Army anti-ballistic missile system designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate ballistic missiles in their terminal phase using a hit-to-kill approach.
The missile carries no warhead but relies on the kinetic energy of the impact to destroy the incoming missile. A kinetic energy hit minimizes the risk of exploding conventional warhead ballistic missiles, and nuclear tipped ballistic missiles won't explode upon a kinetic energy hit, although chemical or biological warheads may disintegrate or explode.