SEOUL – The commander of U.S. troops stationed in South Korea said Tuesday he has proposed deploying an advanced missile-defense system to the country, to counter the growing threat of North Korea’s weapons capabilities.
In March, the North test fired a midrange Rodong missile with a range of more than 1,000 km (600 miles), prompting condemnation from the U.N. Security Council, and being seen as preparing to conduct a fourth nuclear test.
“I recommended the deployment of the THAAD (Theater High Altitude Area Defense) missiles to South Korea,” Yonhap news agency quoted Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, as saying.
The United States has carried out a site survey in South Korea for possible locations for the THAAD battery, but no final decisions have been made to deploy the system, media have reported. Scaparrotti said the U.S. has yet to start official discussions with South Korean officials over the deployment.
The U.S. THAAD system is designed to intercept ballistic missiles at high altitude.