US Missile Defense Chief to Visit Seoul for Talks over THAAD

Seoul, – The director of the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) will visit South Korea this week to discuss follow-up measures for the planned deployment of an advanced US anti-missile system, the Korean defense ministry said Wednesday.

Vice Admiral James Syring who is in charge of the MDA’s worldwide mission to develop capabilities to defend the US, deployed forces and allies against ballistic missile attacks, will arrive in the country on Thursday the ministry said. It said during his stay in Seoul, the flag officer plans to meet senior South Korean military officials and take part in an interview with local reporters, state news agency (Yonhap) reported.

“He is expected to explain how safely a THAAD battery can be operated without posing any health risks to local residents,” a ministry official said without elaborating.

The comments come as residents of Seongju, which has been tapped to host the anti-missile battery, have demanded a scrapping of the deployment over health concerns.

South Korea’s government said Seongju, 296 kilometers southeast of Seoul, is an ideal location for the placement of the THAAD battery. The government hopes to have the battery in place by the end of 2017.

Source: Qatar News Agency