SEOUL, June 24 (UPI) — South Korea is responding to North Korea‘s recent launches of midrange ballistic missiles, and the solution is increasingly pointing to THAAD, the U.S. anti-missile defense system.
Seoul’s Defense Minister Han Min-koo said in a statement issued Friday the deployment of THAAD in South Korea makes it possible to intercept incoming Musudan missiles, local news service News 1 reported.
According to the defense ministry, the anti-missile defense system is capable of destroying midrange missiles at the “last stage.”
South Korea and U.S. officials are weighing their options for THAAD and were considering a number of locations on the peninsula for deployment in early June.
Ahn Cheol-soo, the founding co-leader of the minor opposition People’s Party, said his party would cooperate with any government initiative to respond to North Korea provocations, according to Yonhap.
“If a budget is needed to shorten the time of development for response technology, in parliament we’ll actively cooperate for the sake of national security,” Ahn said, in a bid to reassure the South Korean public about steps going forward.
Both Ahn’s party and the major opposition party have previously taken a different approach to Seoul’s North Korea policy.
The Musudan missile demonstrated a certain degree of technical progress on Wednesday. The second projectile flew for several hundred miles, according to Tokyo’s defense ministry.
On Friday, a South Korean military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to News 1 said the North Korean improvements include “grid fins” that were placed at the bottom of the missile.
The fins allow the Musudan to improve its stability, the official said.