Plans for the deployment of the U.S. THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea are moving forward and an announcement can be expected soon, senior U.S. officials said on Thursday.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters en route to a regional security meeting in Singapore, at which he will meet his South Korean counterpart, that recent North Korean missile tests showed the need for improved missile defenses, even though the test had been failures.
“There have been five consecutive failures there, but…most of the world continues to be concerned about North Korean missile activity,” Carter said after what U.S. and South Korean officials say was the latest failed test of a North Korean intermediate range Musudan missile on Tuesday.
“Whatever the outcome of the test, the fact remains that they are trying to make those missiles fly – that’s the critical fact,” Carter said.
Carter said deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system would come up in his meeting on Saturday with the South Korean defense minister on the sidelines of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, but added: “It’s not something we need to discuss much because the plans are moving forward.”