Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(LEAD) S. Korean president says 'original' agreement was to deploy one THAAD launcher in 2017

All News 21:05 June 22, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with additional remarks, more information in paras 5-8)

SEOUL, June 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that only one rocket launcher was originally scheduled to be deployed in 2017 under the country's agreement with the United States to host its THAAD missile defense system. He noted the deployment had "mysteriously" accelerated.

In an interview with Reuters, the new South Korean leader said an additional five THAAD launchers were set to be deployed next year under what the British news agency called the "original agreement."

"But for some reason that I do not know, this entire THAAD process was accelerated," he was quoted as saying.

So far, two THAAD launchers have been deployed, with the remaining four launchers already delivered and stored here.

Moon's remarks revealed the details of the so-called original THAAD agreement for the first time, while apparently shedding more light on his new administration's earlier decision to temporarily suspend the deployment of the U.S. missile shield.

Following a special probe, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae earlier concluded the country's own defense ministry may have sought to speed up the deployment, partly by reducing its size and scope in an attempt to exempt the deployment from an environmental impact assessment, which Cheong Wa Dae said could take months, if not years.

The South Korean leader has said the decision to temporarily suspend the deployment pending an environmental study did not mean a change in the country's decision to host the U.S. missile shield.

Still, the issue is widely expected to top the agenda in Moon's upcoming talks with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Washington next week.


Issue Keywords
Most Liked
Most Saved
Most Viewed More
Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!