Seoul, – The US advanced missile defense system (THAAD) based in southeastern South Korea can now defend against North Korean missiles, South Korea’s Defense Ministry underlined Tuesday.

The Terminal High Altitude Defense system, set up at a converted golf course in Seongju, has “early capability” to respond to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat, Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said.

Meanwhile, the US troops in South Korea confirmed Tuesday that their advanced missile defense system (THAAD) has been put into operation despite controversies over its deployment and cost.

USFK’s spokesman Col. Rob Manning said in a statement that the “US Forces Korea (USFK) confirms the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is operational and has the ability to intercept North Korean missiles and defend the Republic of Korea”.

Pentagon officials said THAAD in Korea has just reached its “initial operational capability. It will take months before the entire system is up and running full time, they added.

The announcement came less than a week after the USFK began installing the THAAD system at a former golf course in the rural town of Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, amid protests from local residents. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency

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