US deploys additional ballistic missile defense asset in the Kor…
One Patriot artillery deployed at Osan base as part of emergency deployment training
In response to North Korea’s 4th nuclear test and its firing of a long-range missile, the US additionally deployed ballistic missile defense assets in the Korean Peninsula.
Commander of the Eighth US Army Thomas Vandal said on February 13 that “North Korea’s ongoing development of a ballistic missile in defiance of the will of the international community requires an effective ballistic missile defense from the Korea-US alliance. The additional deployment of ballistic missile defense assets is part of our emergency deployment readiness posture.”
The defense asset that will be additionally deployed in Korea is one Patriot advanced capability, PAC-3, of D artillery unit, 1st battalion, 43rd air defense artillery regiment, 11th air defense artillery brigade located in Fort Bliss, Texas. The unit belongs to the Strategic Command who deployed THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) in the continental US for the first time, and has been deployed in the 35th air defense artillery brigade at Osan air base to conduct defensive training on the Korean Peninsula.
PAC-3 is a low-altitude defense intercept missile which can strike an North Korean short and middle-distance missile at a height of 30 to 40km. While this is not targeting the long-range missile that North Korea recently fired, it will be interpreted as a strong warning towards North Korea.
The PAC-3 unit to be deployed will be integrated into the Korea-US combined and joint ballistic missile defense system.
Korea and the US also decided to preemptively and aggressively restrain additional provocations from North Korea, and to carry out the most advanced and largest combined training with the firm will to punish the North if provoked.
For this reason, both sides are going to develop KR/FE training to be held from March 7 to April 30, a high-tech program and the largest-scale training of its kind. There are going to be 5,750 troops and 1 Carrier Strike Group and 45 fighters, up significantly from the year before. And with the deployment of the US strategic asset into the Korean Peninsula, both countries will show North Korea their combined power.
A Korea-US joint working group will be operated as early as this week to discuss the THAAD deployment in the US Armed Forces in Korea.
A senior official of MND said on February 12, “Korea and the US are now in discussions on the operation of a joint working group, which is going to deal with THAAD deployment in the USFK.” He also added that the agreement is expected to be concluded early in the week.
He also said, “Once the agreement is settled, we’re going to organize the joint working group based on this, and further discuss a deployment timeline, proper site, etc. We’ll determine safety, environmental considerations and cost in accordance with the domestic laws of both countries and the Status of Forces Agreement(SOFA).”
In relation to the site, he explained that the site would be one that can maximize military effectiveness without any ill effects on local residents’ safety and the environment. Regarding THAAD, US safety standards would be applied to Korean topography condition.
In terms of the number and time of THAAD deployment, he said, “The US government will deploy one THAAD in the USFK. Time of deployment depends on the discussion and preparation period, but one obvious principle is to deploy as soon as possible.”
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Source: Ministry of National Defense Republic of Korea
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