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U.S. defense bill calls for further bolstering alliance with S. Korea, including through THAAD deployment

All Headlines 04:34 July 12, 2017

WASHINGTON, July 11 (Yonhap) -- The Senate-proposed U.S. defense budget bill for next year calls for further strengthening the alliance with South Korea, including through the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system, congressional records showed Tuesday.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, which was introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on Monday, has a section devoted to the "importance of alliance" between the U.S. and the South.

In the section, the legislation (S.1519) explains the seriousness of the nuclear and missile threats North Korea poses while listing a series of provocations by Pyongyang, such as its 2010 sinking of a South Korean warship and the shelling of a South Korean island.

Last year's bill had no such section.

The conduct of the North "poses an imminent threat to the security of the United States and its allies" as well as to the global economy, the safety of members of the U.S. armed forces, the integrity of the global financial system and the integrity of global nonproliferation programs, the bill said.

"It is the sense of Congress that, in order to achieve the peaceful disarmament of North Korea, the United States should reaffirm the commitment of the United States to defending our allies in the region, including through the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery to the Republic of Korea," the bill said.

The legislation also reaffirms the commitment to provide extended deterrence, "guaranteed by the full spectrum of United States defense capabilities, including conventional capabilities, missile defense, and the nuclear umbrella."

"The United States ... should support ongoing efforts to strengthen the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea, to protect the 28,500 members of the United States Armed Forces stationed on the Korean Peninsula, and to defend the alliance against any and all provocations committed by the North Korea regime," it said.

The legislation has a similar section about the relations with Japan.

U.S. defense bill calls for further bolstering alliance with S. Korea, including through THAAD deployment - 1

jschang@yna.co.kr
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