The US and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have joined forces to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
The move comes amid nuclear and multiple ballistic missile tests, including the recent intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) launches from North Korea.
North Korea’s continued development of ballistic missile technology is in violation of six United Nations Security Council Resolutions and poses a threat to the security of the ROK and the entire Asia-Pacific region.
The THAAD system will be deployed to ROK to counter missile threats from North Korea.
The decision on the THAAD deployment is based on the recommendations made by ROK Defence Minister Han, Min Gu and US Forces Korea commander general Vincent K Brooks, and was approved by the ROK and US Governments.
Brooks said: "This is an important ROK-US decision.
"North Korea’s continued development of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction require the Alliance to take this prudent, protective measure to bolster our layered and effective missile defence."
Operated by the US Forces Korea (USFK), the THAAD will be able to shoot down short and medium-range ballistic missiles.
This highly mobile system can intercept missiles inside and outside the atmosphere.
The THAAD deployment is expected to contribute to a layered missile defence that will enhance the alliance’s existing missile defence capabilities against North Korean missile threats.
Image: A THAAD interceptor being fired during an exercise in 2013. Photo: courtesy of the US Army Ralph Scott/Missile Defense Agency/U.S. Department of Defense.