The two U.S. THAAD launchers in place on a South Korean golf course will work against the North Korean missile threat but would work a lot better with a full battery of six launchers, according to Pentagon officials.
“We still think it’s very important to have a full battery there,” a Pentagon spokesman said Friday. He said the two launchers are “operational and can intercept North Korean missiles,” but “the full THAAD battery is necessary to respond to the North Korean threat.”
The spokesman declined to say whether the components for the full battery are already in South Korea and waiting for clearance from the Seoul government to be moved to the golf course. “We’re not going to talk about parts and equipment,” he said.
Last week, the new South Korean government of President Moon Jae-in suspended deployment of the additional four launchers of the Lockheed Martin-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system on a former golf course in Seongju province about 130 miles south of Seoul, citing environmental concerns.