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Seoul, Washington won't share THAAD radar info with Japan

All News 11:58 July 25, 2016

SEOUL, July 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States will not share with Japan the information they obtain from the radar of an advanced anti-missile system that will be set up by late 2017, a government source said Monday.

Their remarks come amid speculations that the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to be deployed in South Korea is part of a wider move to integrate the South into the broader missile defense (MD) system operated by the U.S. and Japan.

"Under the trilateral information-sharing agreement with the U.S. and Japan, South Korea is obliged to share the information it gets on North Korea's nuclear and missile tests with Japan through the U.S. But the information detected by the THAAD radar won't be going to Tokyo," a government official familiar with the matter said.

Another official said it is "not effective" to share the information on an incoming missile at its terminal phase of flight. This, he said, will not help as an early warning system.

The THAAD battery to be deployed in Seongju, 296 kilometers south of Seoul, will be operated independently by the U.S. forces in South Korea to protect U.S. military forces and its allied Korean forces, he added.

Meanwhile, it takes about 4 billion won (US$35 billion) a year for the U.S. Forces Korea to operate a THAAD battery here, twice the 2 billion won needed annually for a Patriot PAC-2 system, according to government sources.

"There have been rumors that as it takes an astronomical amount of money to operate a THAAD system here, it will drive up the country's defense budget. But it does not demand a big budget," he said.

THAAD, a core part of America's multi-layered missile defense program, is designed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles at altitudes of 40 to 150 km after detecting the missiles with its component X-band land-based radar system.

A THAAD battery consists of six truck-mounted launchers, 48 interceptors (eight per launcher), a fire control and communications unit, and the AN/TPY-2 radar.


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