U.S. Forces Korea commander Curtis Scaparrotti has called for the deployment of a Washington-led advanced missile defense system in South Korea.
"There was consideration being taken in order to consider the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) being deployed here in Korea. It was a U.S. initiative. In fact, I recommended it as the commander," Scarparotti said Tuesday.
He was speaking at a seminar hosted by the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in Seoul.
He said the U.S. military has conducted an initial feasibility study for the THAAD deployment here.
The THAAD is a core part of the U.S. missile defense system. It has an intercept altitude of 40-150 km, whereas Seoul insists on building its own air and missile defense with an intercept altitude of 30-40 km and has declined to join the U.S. system.
The USFK's own THAAD deployment would seem to bring South Korea firmly within the U.S.' growing missile defense system, but Seoul insists that this is not the case since its own missile defense is squarely aimed at North Korea.