Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin on Wednesday said he has no objection to the deployment of U.S. interceptor missiles on Korean soil but no intention of buying them for the Korean army either.
The U.S. hopes to station Terminal High Altitude Area Defense or THAAD missiles here that are part of its missile defense system in Asia, which is chiefly aimed at keeping China in check.
The THAAD is capable of intercepting missiles at an altitude of 40 to 150 km. It costs about W2 trillion (US$1=W1,023) to deploy one THAAD battery with 48 interceptor missiles. Two to four such batteries would be needed for the defense of major parts of the Korean Peninsula, according to experts.
Kim was replying to a question from New Politics Alliance for Democracy lawmaker Kim Sung-gon in the National Assembly. He said he does not object to the THAAD's deployment if the USFK deploys it with American money, because it has "an advantage."