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Xinhua | Updated:2017-01-31 13:26SEOUL– Defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States on Tuesday reaffirmed the bilateral agreement to deploy the US missile shield, called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), in the Republic of Korea (ROK) soil.
Seouls defense ministry said that South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo held the first telephone talks with his US counterpart James Mattis, who became the first defense secretary under the Trump administration Monday.
During the dialogue, they shared security situations on the Korean Peninsula, agreeing to strengthen their defense capability against nuclear and missile threats from the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) and develop the bilateral alliance under severe security environment.
The defense chiefs expressed serious concerns about top DPRK leader Kim Jong Uns New Years Day address that said Pyongyang had entered a final stage in preparations to test-launch the long-range ballistic rocket.
Han and Mattis agreed to push the THAAD installation as scheduled and beef up close cooperation in DPRK policy between defense authorities.
Seoul and Washington abruptly announced the agreement in July last year to deploy one THAAD battery in the ROKs southeastern region by the end of this year.
It caused strong oppositions from China and Russia as the THAADs X-band radar can peer into territories of the two nations. The US anti-missile shield is composed of the super microwave-emitting radar, six mobile launchers, 48 interceptors and the fire control unit.
The radar also caused a barrage of criticism from residents in Seongju county, where the THAAD is scheduled to be installed, and its nearby Gimcheon city as it is detrimental to environment and human body.
The absense of open discussions stoked parliamentary and public objections. Some of conservative voters believe that the THAAD is a cure-all to protect the ROK from the DPRKs nuclear threats, but others raise doubts over its intercepting capability and worry about escalated tensions and arms race in the region.
The THAAD is designed to shoot down incoming missiles at an altitude of 40-150 km, but most of DPRK missiles targeting Seoul fly at an altitude of less than 40 km.
The US missile shield is also incapable of protecting Seoul and its suburban metropolitan area, which has more than half of the countrys 50 million population.Related StoriesTHAAD response understandableChina, Russia agree to further respond to THAAD deploymentBeijing urges ROK delegation to halt THAADChina urges proper settlement with ROK on THAAD issueS Korea re-affirms THAAD deployment as plannedChina vows action as THAAD wins supportPhotoQuebec mosque suspect charged with murdering six peopleChinese Lunar New Year celebrated in BelgiumFive killed in Canadian Islamic center shooting: report16 US state attorneys general call Trumps refugee ban “unlawful”Miss France Iris Mittenaere crowned as Miss UniverseNewborn babies in Bangkok ring in CNY with chicken costumesMost Viewed in 24 HoursWeekly PhotoThe world in photos: Jan 16 – 22NewsmakerMiss France Iris Mittenaere crowned as Miss UniverseNewborn babies in Bangkok ring in CNY with chicken costumesSpecialPresident Xi visits Latin AmericaPremier Li visits four Eurasian countriesReporters JournalUS likely to remain a divided nationMidwest county knows how to draw FDIChina-JapanJapans defense white paper makes irresponsible accusations against ChinaChina-USBasketball game sparks China-US Tourism YearChina-EuropeGroundbreaking early photographs of Shanghai head for LondonChina-AfricaNew Zanzibar hospital funded by ChinaBACK TO THE TOPHOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELWATCHTHISSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperMOBILECopyright 1995 -var oTime = new Date();
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