Defense chiefs of S. Korea and U.S. reaffirm plans to deploy THAAD to S. Korea

한미 국방장관 “북핵 위협 맞서 사드 배치 계획대로 추진”
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis is due in Seoul this week for talks with his South Korean counterpart, Han Min-koo.
Ahead of his trip,… the two held telephone talks… with the threats posed by North Korea dominating their discussions.
Connie Kim reports.
The defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States have reaffirmed their plan to bring the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system to the Korean peninsula in response to North Korea’s missile threats.
Seoul’s defense ministry said Defense Minister Han Min-koo and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis held telephone talks on Tuesday where they expressed serious concern over North Korea’s escalating threat and acknowledged the need to strengthen cooperation on North Korea policies.
The two defense chiefs also said there’s a possibility North Korea could launch a strategic or tactical provocation as it could misjudge the transition of power in Seoul and Washington.
Han and Mattis agreed to deter North Korea provocations through Washington’s provision of a strong extended deterrence and to maintain a strong military readiness posture to respond immediately in an emergency situation.
Pyongyang has been ratcheting up tensions as Kim Jong-un announced in a New Year’s address that the regime is in the final stages of test-firing an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Acknowledging the growing threat from the North, Mattis will make his first overseas trip as defense secretary to Tokyo and Seoul this week to discuss North Korea’s missile programs and other bilateral issues.
Mattis arrives in the South Korean capital on Thursday.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.

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