The United States military in South Korea transported equipments for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to the host site at Seongju, North Gyeongsang in the wee hours of Wednesday to avoid clash with residents who are still fiercely against the powerful radar weaponry installment in their neighborhood.
From midnight until dawn, the U.S. troops delivered core THAAD equipment including two to three THAAD launchers, fire control radar, and engagement control station to the location previously used as a golf course in Seongju. The fully assembled fire control radar was carried on a trailer.
With most of the core THAAD parts in place, the two allies that had signed a deal to install the missile shield last year will conduct an environmental test upon full assembly.
South Korea’s Ministry of Defense said in a release that the two countries have put out efforts to secure swift operational management capability of the THAAD system to prepare against North Korea’s increasing nuclear and missile threat.The test on environmental impact and facility construction will be carried out as planned so that the missile shield would be in operational posture by the year-end, it said.
The fast installation raised suspicion that Washington could have pushed ahead with the deployment ahead of May 9 presidential election, with the liberal candidate opposing to the THAAD deployment leading the polls.
By Ahn Doo-won
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]