WASHINGTON, May 2. /TASS/. The US battery of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea has been put on combat duty is ready to intercept North Korea’s missiles, Col. Rob Manning, US Forces Korea spokesman, has told TASS. He thus confirmed the accuracy of reports on the issue that earlier appeared in the US and South Korean media.
"US Forces Korea 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," he said without providing further details.
The ground-based THAAD anti-missile system is designed to intercept the warheads of ballistic missiles at the end of the mid-course phase and upon approach to the target, and also to protect the troops of the United States and its allies, cities and important facilities against both short-range and strategic missiles.
In May 2015, then US Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, Frank Rose, admitted that Washington was mulling deploying a THAAD unit to the Korean Peninsula on a permanent basis. Russia and China are strongly opposed to the move.