June 9, 2017

THE THAAD TANGO IN SOUTH KOREA: The U.S. State Department says the deployment to South Korea of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missiles is very important. And it is.

A THAAD battery has six launchers. Two of the six launchers in the THAAD battery now deployed in South Korea are in position. So is the battery’s radar. However, the new South Korean government has delayed the deployment of the other four launchers pending a “review of its environmental impact.”

This delay is all about South Korean internal politics. The Reuters summary is accurate. During the recent presidential election, South Korea’s new President Moon Jae-in “promised to review the THAAD deployment decision.” The delay is political theater to demonstrate that he is different from his predecessor. His government knows China’s objections to THAAD are baloney. The weapon is a defensive system and the threat posed by North Korean missiles is real.

RELATED: Photo of a THAAD test launch from 2014. This test was particularly relevant to defending South Korea and Japan because it involved both THAAD and a USN Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) warship. Hence the caption mentioning “a layered defense.” The Ground-based Missile Defense system (GMD) is the “layer” designed to intercept ICBMs targeting North America.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.