New York Daily News:
The American anti-missile system to defend South Korea against North Korea is operational, officials said Tuesday.
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) “is operational and has the ability to intercept North Korean missiles” and protect South Korea, a U.S. military spokesman based in Seoul told The New York Times.
Installation of the system, estimated to cost nearly $1 billion, comes at a pivotal time as North Korea’s foreign ministry declares the peninsula is inching “to the brink of nuclear war.”
North Korea on Tuesday also blasted the U.S. for taking part in drills with South Korea. The nation called the event a “nuclear bomb-dropping drill,” CNN reported.
But the system’s arrival hasn’t been received well in South Korea, either.
President Trump told Reuters last week that he wanted South Korea to foot the bill for the system. An agreement between the two countries last July said South Korea would provide the land — an old golf course — and the U.S. would pay for the installation and operation of the system.
Those comments sparked outrage ahead of South Korea’s presidential election on May 9.
Frontrunner Moon Jae-in railed against Trump’s statements in a Monday campaign speech, according to The New York Times.