Contentious U.S. missile shield back in limelight

April 5, 2021

The Korea Herald:


Delays in building a US base in South Korea to host the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system have been a fact of life for the past four years. But the two allies may soon find themselves at odds as Washington demands better living conditions for its personnel handling the THAAD system.

In April 2017, South Korea brought in a THAAD battery to counter mounting threats from North Korea. But the living accommodations for the soldiers who live at the site remain inadequate, as South Korea has dragged its feet on approving a permanent US base because of pressure from China and local protesters.

China responded to THAAD with economic retaliation, saying its powerful radar could be used to spy on the Chinese mainland, while residents of nearby villages in Korea say the radar poses health risks. Korea has been putting off an environmental assessment.

About 400 Korean and American soldiers handling THAAD are living on the edge because local villagers are blocking the only road leading up to the battery site. The US military has had to send helicopters to deliver what the makeshift base needs…


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