U.S. Pacific Command reported Monday that it has deployed the first elements of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea.
The system is designed to intercept and destroy short- and medium-range ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight.
The action implements the U.S.-Republic of Korea Alliance’s July 2016 decision to bring the defense capability to the peninsula.
“Continued provocative actions by North Korea, to include (Sunday’s) launch of multiple missiles, only confirm the prudence of our alliance decision last year to deploy THAAD to South Korea,” said commander Adm. Harry Harris in a press release. “We will resolutely honor our alliance commitments to South Korea and stand ready to defend ourselves, the American homeland, and our allies.”