THAAD antimissile system activated but will not be fully operational for several months

The first phase of the United States’ THAAD anti-missile defense system has been activated on a golf course in South Korea to guard against the North Korean threat, Western news agencies said Monday.

“It has reached initial intercept capability,” a U.S. official, speaking on grounds of anonymity, told Agence France Presse of the hit-to-kill Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System.

The activation of the THAAD system, first reported by Reuters, was still in the initial phases and would not be fully operational with launchers ready to shoot down short and medium-range missiles for several months, a U.S. official said. South Korean officials said last week that they expected THAAD to be fully operational by the end of the year.

The US will pay the $1billion funding for the THAAD anti-missile system for South Korea. President Trump has been saying that South Korea should pay for the antimissile system.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said the deal on THAAD with the U.S. military was that the U.S. would deploy and operate the system while South Korea provided the land and infrastructure.

“The official position remains unchanged that our government provides the land and other infrastructure while the U.S. covers the burden of cost of deploying and maintaining the THAAD system according to the regulations of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA),” the Ministry said in statement.