US and Seoul boost defences against ‘evolving North Korean threat’

The US and South Korea have agreed to deploy an anti-missile system to bolster defences against the “evolving North Korean threat”. The announcement from the Pentagon comes amid reports Pyongyang is in the final stages of preparing a new missile test. The South’s acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn has warned the North is developing its nuclear capabilities at an “unprecedented pace” .

[America will] provide extended deterrence using the full range of US capabilities.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis

The South Korean Defence Ministry said the two sides had agreed to go ahead with plans to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defence system to defend against North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic capabilities. China has objected to THAAD as it fears it could penetrate its own territory and wants South Korea to delay or cancel it. US Defense Secretary James Mattis is in South Korea on Thursday and Friday, before he heads to Japan in his first overseas tour since his appointment by Donald Trump earlier this month. Both longstanding US allies have raised concerns about the US President’s approach to the region.