Korea Under Growing Pressure to Join U.S. Missile Defense

      May 30, 2014 11:31

      The U.S. seems to be ramping up in its efforts to get Korea to join its missile defense system.

      The House of Representative recently passed the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act that calls on the secretary of defense to "conduct an assessment to identify opportunities for increasing missile defense cooperation among the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea,"

      And Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman James Winnefeld in a speech at the Atlantic Council think tank on Wednesday said that Washington wants closer cooperation in the area.

      "We're encouraging our allies and partners to acquire their own missile defenses and to strengthen regional missile defense cooperation that will result in better performance than individual countries acting alone," Winnefeld said.

      The Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon is considering deploying a terminal high-altitude area defense or THAAD missile defense in Korea that can intercept short, medium and intermediate missiles.

      But Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok pointedly said there have been no discussions on the matter between Seoul and Washington. "The U.S. missile defense and Korea's air and missile defense are entirely different systems, and there is no chance of integrating the Korean system into the American one," he said.

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