McMaster says U.S. will pay for THAAD after all

April 30 (UPI) — The United States will indeed pay for the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea, National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster said Sunday.

McMaster reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to paying as much as $1 billion for the missile defense system days after President Donald Trump said South Korea should.

“What I told our South Korean counterpart is until any renegotiation, that the deals in place, we’ll adhere to our word,” McMaster said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Trump said Thursday he wanted Seoul to pay for the THAAD deployment, a remarks that came at a critical time in South Korean politics.

The country is to elect a new president on May 9, and a spokesman for progressive presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in said the issue of THAAD should be handled by the next administration, although deployment has already taken place.

McMaster said he assured Kim Kwan-jin, South Korea’s chief national security officer, about the deal.

“The last thing I would ever do is contradict the president of the United States,” McMaster also told Fox News. “And that’s not what it was. What the president has asked us to do, is to look across all of our alliances and to have appropriate burden sharing-responsibility sharing. We’re looking at that with our great ally South Korea, we’re looking at that with NATO.”

North Korea launched a projectile on Saturday but the test ended in failure, according to the U.S. Pacific Command.

Contributing: Elizabeth Shim

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