South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Monday that the administration of President Moon Jae-in is not considering additional deployments of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, according to Korean press reports.
Kang disclosed this policy decision in a statement to the legislature during a parliamentary audit of the ministry. This included a statement that the administration would not participate in any additional U.S.-led missile defense networks beyond the deployed THAAD system, which she said is meant to defend South Korea and U.S. troops based there from North Korean threats.
The U.S. installed a six missile THAAD battery in the southern town of Seongju starting in the last administration, and completed it this year.
“Let me be clear on this. As explained on many occasions before, the THAAD system is a self-defense measure that has nothing to do with the MD,” Kang said. She uses MD as an acronym for missile defense.
In response to a question, Kang added the government does not plan to apologize to China for the THAAD deployment. There is “nothing to apologize for,” she said.
Local news reports have said the South Korean and Chinese governments may be warming after China’s 19th Communist Party Congress concluded last week. Relations declined when the THAAD system was first deployed. China strongly objected to the system’s deployment (Defense Daily, July 31).
The prime contractor for THAAD is Lockheed Martin [LMT] and it uses the Raytheon [RTN] AN/TPY-2 X-band radar to track ballistic missiles.