On Saturday, North Korea launched a failed missile launch. On Monday, it was revealed that this was a precursor to the United States’s “early activation” of an anti-ballistic missile defense shield.
Independent Journal Review reported that South Korea and the United States responded to these tensions by agreeing to implement the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. This system has been designed to shoot down North Korean missiles.
This came as Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North Korea and South Korea on Sunday, telling U.S. troops there that the “era of strategic patience is over.”
“This morning’s provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face each and every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of America in this part of the world,” Pence said of North Korea’s failed launch.
Vice President Pence and South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn issued a joint statement on Monday signaling the initiation of THAAD.
“We have agreed to further strengthen the readiness posture of [the] ROK-U.S. alliance that matches the threats posed by North Korea through a swift deployment of THAAD,” Hwang said.
Russia and China are firmly against THAAD, previously saying that it would further “destabilize” the region.
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