US Plans to Deploy Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems to South Korea

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South Korea and the United States are discussing plans to deploy a U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense anti-ballistic missile system on the Korean Peninsula. The THAAD system would protect against tactical and theater ballistic missiles at ranges up to 200 kilometers and altitudes up to 150 kilometers. It will be equipped with X-band radar that has a much longer range. China is voicing strong opposition to the plan. Beijing reminded Seoul that China is South Korea’s major trading partner and that a deployment could lead to significant political and economic costs. In turn Seoul said that it will make a decision on THAAD based on its own national interests, not Chinese pressure.

China sees the deployment of the system as the potential start of greater U.S. deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems on the Asian mainland. In general, China’s actions depict a concern that enhanced U.S. anti-ballistic missile capabilities would weaken Chinese nuclear deterrence and thus shift the balance in the Pacific. Anti-ballistic missile defense is also a source of tension between the United States and Russia for precisely the same reason. The US is developing the missile shield in Europe that alledgedly amied against the Iranian threat. However, it’s clear that the real goal of the system is to counter the Russian missile capabilities. Beijing is seeking to avoid the same situation in Asia.

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  • Veritas Vincit

    Notably, N Korea has made statements that there will be a “physical response” to the deployment of U.S. THAAD missiles in S Korea that they (likely correctly) believe is part of architecture to be employed as part of eventual offensive military operations (upon failure of current mechanisms to engineer an internal collapse).

    It is important to recognise U.S. economic warfare operations (an aspect of broader destabilisation/regime change operations geared primarily towards engineering an internal collapse) have transitioned the situation into a state of war. N Korea has stated the latest sanctions are a “declaration of war” and that “all matters between the two countries will be handled under its wartime laws.”

    U.S./allied military exercises are consistent with preparations for eventual offensive military operations. Contingency plans have been developed for such a situation (‘de-nuclearisation’ and subsequent ‘stabilisation’ operations such outlined in former OP 5029):

    “U.S. forces in Korea will take charge of securing or eliminating weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in North Korea when contingency situations occur….. The plan is part of a newly developed Korea-U.S. operational plan (OPLAN), codenamed 5029, to respond to any type of internal instability in the communist state….. U.S. Gen. Walter Sharp, commander of the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC), confirmed the move. Speaking at a seminar here Oct. 30, the four-star general, who concurrently serves as chief of the U.S. Forces Korea and the U.N. Command, said both militaries agreed that American forces will still spearhead operations to eliminate North Korean WMDs and Marine amphibious assaults after the OPCON transfer on April 17, 2012. A South Korean CFC commander said that under OPLAN 5029, “either” South Korean and U.S. troops would conduct stabilizing operations in North Korea, such as securing the North’s WMDs and nuclear sites, in a flexible manner in case of an emergency.” (U.S. To Remove N. Korean WMDs in Contingency, By Jung Sung-ki, DefenseNews, 5 Nov 2009)

    As the security of the PRC is directly linked to the security of N Korea (the U.S. seeks to establish aligned military forces/missile architecture upon achieving regime change in N Korea), any direct military conflict is unlikely to be isolated or contained for long.

    Military exercises, procurements, deployments/mobilisation of forces and policy papers clearly indicate preparations for the implementation of contingency plans (offensive operations).

    • Singh Sardar

      Well, you don’t pivot to Asia for nothing.

      After this look for them to push Bengal & Kashmir incl Rohingya.

      Ie in say 15-25yrs they want to keep secularism up & let them grow till then.

      They will get korea into another war & Bharat (Greater India)