05 March 2016
South Korea and the United States have started official talks about deploying an advanced US anti-missile radar system to the Korean Peninsula to counter growing threats from the North.
The discussion about the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) system came amid heightened tensions as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the country’s nuclear arsenal to be readied in retaliation against new sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council.
South Korea’s Defence Ministry and the United States Forces Korea (USFK) launched a Joint Working Group yesterday morning and met for their first round of talks hours later. The group, led by the South Korean Defence Ministry’s director-general Jang Kyung Soo and USFK’s Major-General Robert Hedelund, would discuss the effectiveness of Thaad deployment, potential locations, timeline, cost-sharing and potential safety and environmental issues, said the ministry. It added that Thaad will “contribute to the defence of South Korea from North Korea’s increasing nuclear and missile threats”.
… There was also talk that Thaad was used as a bargaining chip to get China’s buy-in for the latest round of UN sanctions against Pyongyang, but assistant professor Michael Raska from the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore disagreed. He said North Korea’s actions have raised “serious strategic concerns” in Washington and Beijing, and both sides had to figure out how to best thwart Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 07/03/2016