South Korea, US to discuss advanced missile defence system as early as next week

Mr Yoo Jeh-seung (right), deputy minister for policy at South Korea's Defense Ministry, at a press conference with Lt. Gen. Thomas Vandal, the commander of US Forces Korea's Eighth Army, in Seoul, South Korea, on Feb 7, 2016.
Mr Yoo Jeh-seung (right), deputy minister for policy at South Korea's Defense Ministry, at a press conference with Lt. Gen. Thomas Vandal, the commander of US Forces Korea's Eighth Army, in Seoul, South Korea, on Feb 7, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korean and US officials will begin talks as early as next week on the deployment of an advanced missile defence system to the US military in the South, a South Korean defence ministry official said on Friday (Feb 12).

The South earlier this week announced it would initiate discussions on a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) unit after a long-range rocket launch by North Korea, which Seoul and Washington said violated United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The United States, Japan and South Korea said Sunday's (Feb 7) launch was a ballistic missile test, and like last month's nuclear test, a violation of UN resolutions. They are seeking tougher sanctions against the North.

Isolated North Korea regularly dismisses the South as a puppet of the US and just as regularly accuses both of acts of war against it.