Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

Make CT Your Homepage

South Korea Slams Door Shut in China’s Face; Reaffirms THAAD Deployment with Finality

Fire in the sky

(Photo : US Army) A THAAD missile system on its mobile launcher and what the system can do.

It will do no more good for China to try to prevent South Korea from deploying the U.S. THAAD ballistic missile defense system on its shores with South Korea's latest announcement that THAAD will come to South Korea.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis reaffirmed the bilateral agreement that deploys the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) ballistic missile system at two sites in South Korea in a phone conversation ahead of Mattis' visit to South Korean on Feb. 1.

Like Us on Facebook

Mattis, a former General in the United States Marine Corps, will also visit Japan, another of the U.S.' staunch Asian allies to discuss the situation against China.

During their phone call, Han and Mattis, discussed the security situation on the Korean Peninsula. They agreed to strengthen their defense capability against nuclear and missile threats from North Korea and to develop the bilateral alliance under severe threats from both North Korea and China.

China opposes the deployment of THAAD, claiming the system's long-range X-band radar will allow the U.S. to better intercept any intercontinental ballistic missile it fires against the U.S. mainland.

Han and Mattis expressed serious concerns about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's New Year's Day address that said Pyongyang had entered a final stage in preparations to test-launch a long-range ballistic rocket.

Both defense chiefs agreed deploy THAAD as scheduled and boost their already close defense cooperation.

South Korea will install a THAAD battery in the southern county of Seongju, 296 kilometers southeast of Seoul, in May. A second THAAD battery is also to be deployed within the year.

South Korea's determination to emplace THAAD as its primary means of defense against North Korean ballistic missiles was underscored when acting South Korean President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said THAAD has to be deployed to South Korea as soon as possible to counter North Korea's persistent nuclear and missile threats.

"For security, (we) have to deploy (THAAD)," said Hwang. "As we cannot wait even for a moment to cope with North Korea's nuclear provocations, we have to do what we can do first."

In another desperate move to get Seoul to ditch THAAD, China's foreign ministry on Dec. 5 issued a statement on THAAD's deployment in South Korea.

Beijing said "China is against the enforcement of THAAD that would incur losses for China's strategic security."

In another effort, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed the communist government's opposition to the deployment of THAAD on the Korean peninsula during a meeting with South Korea opposition party lawmakers in Beijing on Dec. 4.

South Korean media said apart from boycotting all K-Pop and other Korean entertainers, China will also boycott Korean companies operating in China.

Real Time Analytics