US Defense Secretary’s visit to South Korea gives THAAD deployment momentum

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis arrives at Osan Air Base in Osan, South Korea. Photo by Reuters
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Seoul and Washington’s plan to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery here within the year is gaining considerable momentum after the visit of U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis.

That was reported by www.koreatimes.co.kr.

During his highly symbolic first overseas trip since taking office last month, Washington’s top defense official stressed, among other things, that the advanced anti-missile system was absolutely necessary to defend against North Korean threats so the deployment would go as planned.

The retired Marine Corps general said Friday, ahead of his meeting with Seoul’s Defense Minister Han Min-koo, “We are taking defense steps like deploying the highly effective THAAD anti-missile unit to the Republic of Korea to protect its people and our troops that are stationed with our ally.”

During his meeting with Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se earlier in the day, Mattis also reaffirmed the determination to move ahead as planned.

This was seen as an apparent effort to remove speculations that the deployment decision, made last year under the leadership of President Park Geun-hye, could be reconsidered by the next South Korean government, given that Park has been impeached over a corruption scandal and China has intensified its retaliatory actions…

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