US, South Korea to Deploy Controversial THAAD Missile Defense
The U.S. and South Korea have announced plans to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense - THAAD - on the Korean peninsula to counter North Korea’s ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile development programs.
General Thomas Vandal, the chief of staff for U.S. Forces in Korea, and South Korea’s Deputy Minister of Defense Ryu Je-seung made the formal announcement during a joint briefing in Seoul Friday.
“North Korea’s continued development of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction, in opposition to its commitments to the international community, require our alliance to ensure that we retain the ability defend ourselves in the face of this threat,” said Gen. Vandal.
In February following North Korea’s last nuclear test and launch of a long-range rocket using ballistic missile technology, Washington and Seoul began formal consultations to discuss the feasibility of deploying THAAD.
THAAD is designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. It has so far proven effective against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
Massive Typhoon Hits Taiwan; Two Killed, Many Injured
At least two people are dead and 66 others injured after super typhoon Nepartak slammed into Taiwan’s eastern coast Friday.
More than 15,000 people had to be evacuated in preparation for the storm’s landfall Friday morning and more than 500 flights had to be canceled, according to emergency authorities.
After the storm made landfall in Taitung County, it weakened to a medium-strength typhoon. Nearly 400,000 homes lost power due to the storm, with most of them coming from Pingtung and Taitung counties.
The storm is expected to hit mainland China later Friday.