A sign protesting the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAADVERTISEMENT, anti-missile mechanism appears throughout a demonstration in Seoul, South Korea, March 11, 2017. (Stars and also soimg.org)
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CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — One month before South Oriental voters head to the polls, the two front-runners in the 2022 presidential election have actually diverged on the principle of deploying an additional U.S.-made missile defense mechanism in their country.

You are watching: Deployment of anti-missile systems is in south korea’s best interest.

Yoon Seok-youl, the nominee of the conservative, opposition People Power Party, and also Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party, have voiced disagreements over hosting a second Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system.

The $800 million THAADVERTISEMENT, a product of U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin, deserve to detect and also intercept short-, medium- and also intermediate-variety ballistic missiles. It can track missiles from 540 miles to 1,864 miles amethod and defend targets approximately 124 miles amethod, according to the Center for Strategic and Internationwide Studies.


A THAAD battery has actually been stationed for the previous 4 years at a South Korean military base in Seongju, around 130 miles south of Seoul. The U.S. and also South Korean militaries deployed the battery “specifically to enhance the defense” of the Korean Peninsula in light of North Korea’s “strategic provocations,” according to a joint statement in 2017.

Yoon, a former chief prosecutor in South Korea, has proposed fielding a second THAAD system because the country is “on the verge of the moment that one-of-a-kind procedures are necessary,” according to a Jan. 31 statement by the People Power Party.


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A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAADVERTISEMENT, interceptor is introduced from Wake Island on Nov. 1, 2015. The device efficiently intercepted two ballistic missile targets in the time of the test. (Missile Defense Agency)

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Contents of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, anti-missile system arrive at Osan Air Base, South Korea, in March 2017. (Jeremy Larlee/U.S. Army)
North Korea’s seven rounds of missile tests so much this year raise the necessity of deploying an additional THAADVERTISEMENT battery “to safeguard life and also property” in the resources city of Seoul, according to the party statement.

Yoon, the statement shelp, believes the single battery in Seongju has restricted capabilities to protect the Seoul urban area.

“Peace is not a point which clamors by mouth however reflects by doing actions,” the statement shelp. “We will certainly develop tranquility with power.”

Lee, the Democratic Party candidate, cautioned against deploying an additional THAADVERTISEMENT battery, during a presidential dispute through Yoon and 2 other challengers on Thursday.


Lee has actually defined the existing system, deployed under South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s conservative administration, as a harsh “reality,” and also on Thursday shelp he would judge its consumption based on future circumstances.

Lee, in a current campaign statement, accused Yoon of “escalating stress and anxiety and intensifying confrontation.” Yoon’s pro-THAADVERTISEMENT stance would certainly “ruin our economy” by method of provoking China, Lee said during Thursday's conflict.

Beijing responded to the initial THAAD deployment through a boycott of South Oriental businesses, bring about a $7 billion financial hit, South Korea's government sassist in December 2017.

“It is a really dangerous act to damage national interests,” Lee sassist at a sepaprice policy controversy hosted Wednesday by the Christian Broadspreading System.


Lee, previously the governor of South Korea’s the majority of populous province, Gyeonggi, instead urged for “pragmatic diplomacy.”

He is not alone in questioning the require for an additional THAADVERTISEMENT device.

Retired Military Gen. Vincent Brooks, a former commander of UNITED STATE Forces Korea, said in November that integrating existing defense units, such as the Patriot anti-missile battery, with the THAADVERTISEMENT can be a prudent alternative.

Yang Uk, an associate research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, said he expects the THAADVERTISEMENT controversy to proceed in the coming weeks.

“It’s a political concern," Uk told Stars and soimg.org by phone Friday. “When it was first deployed, tright here was the majority of pressure from China, and also, also, Korea experienced economic damage. It currently ended up being an problem that separated the political parties.”

Stars and soimg.org reporter Yoo Kyong Chang contributed to this report.

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Yoo Kyong Chang
Yoo Kyong Chang

David Choi
David Choi

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