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White House: U.S. to ensure THAAD maximizes protection, minimizes inconvenience

All News 04:40 July 22, 2016

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Yonhap) -- The United States will work closely with South Korea to deploy the THAAD missile defense system in a way that maximizes the protection it provides and minimizes any inconvenience it causes, the White House said Thursday.

"This is a highly sophisticated anti-ballistic missile defense system in South Korea to protect our allies from the missile threat emanating North Korea," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said at a regular press briefing.

"So we are certainly going to work closely with the South Korean government to ensure that those protections are put in place in a way that's consistent with the interests and preferences of the South Korean people," he said.

Earlier this month, South Korea and the United States announced they have officially decided to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in the Asian nation to cope with the ever-growing nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.

But the decision sparked angry protests from residents of the South Korean town of Seongju, set to host the battery, amid concern that the electromagnetic radiation from the system's powerful X-band radar could be dangerous to humans and crops.

"We obviously want to work jointly and cooperatively with the South Korean government to implement that in a way that will maximize the protection it provides and minimize inconvenience that imposes on the South Korean people," Earnest said.

He said that the decision to place THAAD in the South reflects the strong commitment that the United States has to the safety and security of our allies in South Korea. As the U.S. will continue discussions about THAAD, its priorities are going to be on the "safety and security of our South Korean allies," Earnest said.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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