SKorea says curbing THAAD deployment in peace bid
SEOUL, May 24 – South Korea’s new leader said Wednesday he was curbing an advanced U.S. anti-missile system’s operations in an effort to defuse a standoff with a North that has threatened a punitive attack over the deployment.
“I've postponed indefinitely switching on full power of the THAAD anti-missile system,” President Moon Jae-in said in a series of tweets. North Korea deems the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, as the system is formally known, a provocation. It has warned that it might retaliate.
At issue is an anti-ballistic missile system with a powerful radar also objected to by Moscow and Beijing, which fear it could be used to monitor their own missile forces.
The system had been due to reach full operating capacity by October. The United States began setting it up in April on a former golf course in southeastern part of South Korea to counter Pyongyang’s growing nuclear and missile programs in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Moon, elected May 9, said he was ready to discuss reciprocal peace moves with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un effective immediately.
“I hope North Korea will join me in reducing regional tensions,” he tweeted.
Pyongyang did not immediately respond.