World War 3: THAAD Goes Live
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system – designed by the US and aimed at detecting and shooting down missiles – has been installed in South Korea and has reached capability to carry out its functions, Reuters quoted US officials as saying.
“US Forces Korea confirms the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is operational and has the ability to intercept North Korean missiles and defend the Republic of Korea [South Korea],” US Forces Korea spokesman Col. Rob Manning told Sputnik news agency on Monday.
South Korea set up a “restricted operating zone control measure” over the site where THAAD is located on April 30, controlling air space. The battery is being prepared for initial operations, the officials added.
The system has “initial intercept capability,” defense officials said, according to NBC.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/A5AlOMql3aI”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_images_carousel images=”40116,40117,40118,40119,40121,40122″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense, is a United States Army anti-ballistic missile system which is designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase using a hit-to-kill approach.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]However, the US has dismissed these allegations, saying that the system is only a means of defense.
In March, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang warned that China will “definitely be taking necessary measures to safeguard [their] own security interest.”
Beijing has already introduced a set of measures targeting South Korea, such as a ban on tour groups. The Seoul-headquartered multinational conglomerate Lotte, which had owned the golf course where THAAD is stationed, has also had 85 out of its 99 stores in China shut down. And South Korea’s biggest car manufacturer, Hyundai Motor, has complained that sales in China have significantly decreased.
The THAAD agreement between the US and South Korea was reached in July 2016 with the first components of the system beginning to arrive in early March.
Seoul is providing land, while Washington is expected to foot the bill, according to the terms of the deal.
The agreement, however, has been questioned by US President Donald Trump, who has described the system as “phenomenal,” and that it “shoots missiles right out of the sky.”
The deployment is taking place against a backdrop of escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula following several missile launches carried out by Pyongyang and the US warning that “major conflict” is a possibility.