Last Saturday, North Korea launched five short-ranged ballistic missiles into the sea, and test launched an anti-ship cruise missile. The day before these missile launches, North Korea threatened to bring “final doom to the U.S. mainland,” after claiming to have a miniaturized nuclear warhead capability. UN sancations and U.S. officials, to no success, have repeatedly called for North Korea to cease these repeated launches which cause regional instability that could easily ignite major conflict.
To counter these specific threats, the United States, South Korea, and Japan have regional sea Aegis BMD ships and land based missile defense systems in place. Patriot batteries are deployed on the Japanese mainland, Okinawa, and in South Korea in the defense of valued areas. Aegis BMD ships from all three allied navies patrol the surrounding seas, though the current Korean Aegis BMD ships only have early warning, tracking and discrimination capabilities. Through all this protection in South Korea there remains vulnerabilities in persistence, overall coverage and layered defenses above the Patriot capabilities.
As a legitimate, credible option to pressure North Korea, who continue to disregard sanctions and international diplomacy by its provocative testing, deploying a second U.S. THAAD battery to South Korea would exponentially enhance our regional missile defense system in South Korea in persistence, coverage and layered defense as it can protect and defend the whole of of South Korea and the U.S. troops stationed there seamlessly from a single location. The deployment of THAAD would send a strong message to North Korea and China, shaping the strategic environment for North Korea to pull back from its provocative behavior, as we saw in 2013 after the United States deployed a THAAD battery to Guam.
We need the political resolve and courage to solve our North Korean problem.
MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.
MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.