U.S. starts moving controversial missile defense to South Korea

U.S. starts moving controversial missile defense to South KoreaThe U.S. started to deploy the first parts of its anti-missile defence system in South Korea on Tuesday after North Korea's test of four ballistic missiles.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had personally supervised Monday's missile launches by an army unit that is positioned to strike U.S. bases in Japan, according to the country’s state media.

The U.S. is deploying its Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system.

China has already said the move shifted the area’s security balance.

"We will firmly take necessary measures to preserve our own security interest, and the US and South Korea must bear the potential consequences," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday.

The move has triggered a diplomatic standoff between China and South Korea with China stating that its territory is the target of the system’s long-range radar. The claim has been dismissed by the U.S. saying THAAD is only aimed at curbing provocative acts by North Korea.

With North Korea upping the amount of missile and nuclear tests last year, the U.S. and South Korea have publicly stressed the need to speed up the deployment of the technology.

It's designed to shoot down incoming missiles that threaten civilian populations, akin to shooting a bullet with another bullet in simple terms, experts say.

"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," Adm. Harry Harris, commander, U.S. Pacific Command, said in a news release.
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