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Deployment of further THAAD launchers can be re-considered: S. Korean defense chief
Last Updated: 2017-07-31 17:08 | Xinhua
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South Korea's defense chief said Monday that the decision to "temporarily" deploy four more mobile launchers of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system can be re-considered if people feel anxious about it.

Defense Minister Song Young-moo told lawmakers that the "temporary THAAD deployment" had the meaning of reviewing it under the conditions that additional THAAD elements are temporarily installed, while the environmental assessment is underway, as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) crossed the red line too fast.

Song noted that the temporary deployment also had the meaning of reconsidering it if people feel anxious about it.

The DPRK announced its successful test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which flew about 1,000 km and was lofted as high as over 3,700 km late Friday night. It was an advanced version of what the country called Hwasong-14, which traveled 933 km at a maximum altitude of 2,802 km at the July 4 launch.

About an hour after the missile test-firing, South Korean President Moon Jae-in convened a national security council (NSC) meeting in which major security and foreign affairs officials, including the defense minister, participated.

During the meeting, Minister Song asked the president to fully deploy the THAAD battery in South Korean territory and the temporary deployment was decided upon at the NSC meeting, according to the defense chief.

South Korea has already launched consultations with the United States on further THAAD deployment in the southeast of the country.

Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-kyun told a regular press briefing on Monday that the deployment of six THAAD launchers would be decided upon after consultations between South Korea and the United States.

Asked about whether the consultation was launched after President Moon Jae-in's instruction, the spokesman said "yes."

The two allies have reportedly exchanged opinions on the additional deployment through phone conversations.

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