USA to Continue Work on S. Korea's THAAD, Despite Park Impeachment
Mar 14 2017 by Joshua Bennett
"South Korea controls enough of that infrastructure that they could make it not worth the bother for the U.S.to set up a single isolated and poorly-sited THAAD battery".
Meeting with senior Trump administration officials in Washington last week, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman twice referenced the growing threat posed by North Korea's missile programs preoccupying the White House in its first days on the job. But this report has not yet been confirmed by United States intelligence.
Moon on Sunday stressed the need to "embrace and be united with" the North Korean people, while adding that he could never accept its "dictatorial regime", or its trampling of rights.
Last week, North Korea launched a minimum of four medium-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan. But Kim also knows the highly-publicized impetuosity and impulsive nature of Donald Trump. Yet the Chinese fear pushing too hard and causing North Korea to collapse.
Some 300,000 South Korean and 15,000 US troops have begun their annual Foal Eagle joint war exercises that run through April. He envisions them as provocative and wants them stopped. Considering that Korea's introduction of the THAAD system from the self-defense dimension is the result of the Chinese lukewarm behaviors to North Korea's nuclear and missile threat, it is entirely China's responsibility.
North Korea's military launched an unprecedented 21 ballistic missiles in 2016 and two nuclear detonations. Those two countries are concerned with the more important regional problem of dealing with China's assertiveness in the South and East China Seas.
"Now that the USA started risky nuclear war drills again, the DPRK has no option but to counter it with the toughest measures for bolstering the nuclear force as it had already declared", the articleread. The North not only has amassed nuclear weapons but claims it can fit them atop missiles. He's also called for recognition of Kim Jong-un as North Korea's leader. However, China is not likely to play that role.
The South Korean public is divided on THAAD, with many feeling the system isn't worth antagonizing China, but it's unclear if the next president would actually halt the project. North-South relations over the past decade have been fraught to say the least, with everything from the sinking of the Cheonan to a laundry list of missile and nuclear tests serving to block out the sunshine that might have otherwise warmed the Peninsula if the liberals were in power. And, despite objections from Russian Federation and China, the USA is accelerating its deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea.
Since last July, Beijing has ratcheted up a hostile stance toward Seoul, in protest of Seoul's stationing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) on its soil. But he also said sanctions that the U.S. had enforced with the conservatives in South Korea for a decade had failed to stop North Korea's nuclear weapons program, so it was time to try something less confrontational. Rather, Beijing sees "the goal of the THAAD system is to track missiles launched from China".
"We've been very clear in our conversations with China that this is not meant to be a threat".
Furthermore, the system has a penetrating radar system allowing American forces to monitor not just the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, but deep into northern China.
Mr Kim Jong Un's actions have a ruthless internal logic, however, and while he has a plan, there is no sign that anyone has a coherent strategy for stopping him. Economically, the US remains South Korea's second-largest export market (in 2016, Korean exports to the USA were about $70 billion).
The Trump administration is actively exploring ways to foster Israeli-Arab cooperation against Iran, which it hopes will blossom into greater normalization of ties. That is one variable that Kim is counting on.
The explosive yields on these bombs have been small (for nuclear weapons) however, analysts believe this points to a disturbing possibility- that North Korea is attempting to build miniaturized nuclear warheads.
Pyongyang's fifth and latest nuclear weapons test occurred on September 9.