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THAAD 'operational' in ROK amid protests

China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-03 07:33

THAAD 'operational' in ROK amid protests

The US anti-missile system called the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense is seen at Soseong-ri, Republic of Korea, on Tuesday. Yonhap Via Ap

SEOUL - US Forces Korea has confirmed that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system deployed last week in the southeastern Republic of Korea is "operational".

The system has the ability to "intercept missiles" from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and "defend South Korea", USFK spokesman Rob Manning said on Tuesday.

Last week, about 20 US trucks and trailers carried THAAD components, including radar, to a golf course designated for the system in the village of Soseong-ri in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province.

The installed components include two mobile launchers and an AN/TPY-2 radar. A complete THAAD battery is composed of six mobile launchers, 48 interceptors, radar and the fire and control unit.

The deployment of THAAD in the Republic of Korea has been strongly opposed by nearby countries, including China and Russia, as an element breaking strategic balance in the region.

In Beijing, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said the parties related in the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue should take responsibility and make a breakthrough to resume peace talks at an early date. Geng Shuang said at a daily press briefing on Tuesday that China has always believed that peaceful negotiation and consultation remain the only practical and feasible approach to realizing denuclearization, peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

On Monday, protesters blocked about 30 ROK police buses from entering, and they have continued to hold daily rallies in Soseong-ri. Three Buddhist monks whose holy ground is near the site, have started a hunger strike.

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