The U.S. military will deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) ballistic missile defense system "in the coming weeks" to the U.S. Pacific territory as a "precautionary move to "strengthen our regional defense posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat," according to a Pentagon statement.
The U.S. announcements follows a series of nuclear tests and threats from North Korean leadership about an attack on the U.S. and South Korea. The evidence from those tests have left more questions than answers about the level of the North Korean's nuclear program.
The Pentagon outlined the capabilities of the THAAD system and explained the importance of protecting the U.S. territory from any sort of attack from the North Koreans. That statement is below.
The THAAD system is a land-based missile defense system that includes a truck-mounted launcher, a complement of interceptor missiles, an AN/TPY-2 tracking radar, and an integrated fire control system. This deployment will strengthen defense capabilities for American citizens in the U.S. Territory of Guam and U.S. forces stationed there.
The United States continues to urge the North Korean leadership to cease provocative threats and choose the path of peace by complying with its international obligations. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend U.S. territory, our allies, and our national interests.