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(LEAD) Moon orders more THAAD launchers to be deployed

All Headlines 12:11 July 29, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS photo, more info in paras 5, 7-8)

SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Saturday proposed a set of tough countermeasures against North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch, including the deployment of additional THAAD launchers, according to his office.

Presiding over an emergency National Security Council (NSC) session, Moon ordered consultations with the United States on ways to bolster "strategic deterrence" against the North, his chief press secretary, Yoon Young-chan, told reporters.

The measures would include a show of the allies' force like a combined ballistic missile exercise and an immediate request for a U.N Security Council meeting to discuss strong sanctions, added Yoon.

Moon convened the NSC meeting shortly after reports of the North's firing of a ballistic missile, which South Korea's military views as an advanced type of ICBM.

Regarding the THAAD deployment, a presidential aide said that Moon meant the "temporary" deployment of four additional launchers of the missile defense system, and that an environmental impact assessment on the deployment site would go ahead as planned.

Two THAAD interceptor launchers are in operation at a former golf course in Seongju, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, with four others stored at a nearby U.S. military base. American troops here say the THAAD system is a core element in their missile defense against the North's growing threats.

"(The government) would seek the temporary deployment (of the four launchers) first while carrying out the environmental assessment," the official told reporters, declining to be named.

"At the time when the assessment is over, we will make a final decision again over the deployment," he added.

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a National Security Council session at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on July 29, 2017, in this photo provided by his office. (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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