CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii – U.S. Pacific Command deployed the first elements of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to the Republic of Korea, March 6, implementing the U.S.-ROK Alliance’s July 2016 decision to bring the defense capability to the peninsula.
North Korea’s accelerating program of nuclear weapons tests and ballistic missile launches constitute a threat to international peace and security, and are in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions. The deployment of THAAD contributes to a layered missile defense system and enhances the U.S.-ROK Alliance’s defense against North Korean missile threats.
"Continued provocative actions by North Korea, to include yesterday’s launch of multiple missiles, only confirm the prudence of our alliance decision last year to deploy THAAD to South Korea," said Adm. Harry Harris, commander, U.S. Pacific Command. "We will resolutely honor our alliance commitments to South Korea and stand ready to defend ourselves, the American homeland, and our allies."
The THAAD system is a strictly defensive capability and it poses no threat to other countries in the region. THAAD 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.
U.S. Pacific Command joint military forces remain vigilant in the face of North Korean ballistic missile threats and provocations and are fully committed to working closely with our ROK allies to maintain security in the region.