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Japan reportedly to deploy Aegis Ashore system instead of THAAD

Japan reportedly to deploy Aegis Ashore system instead of THAAD

In early June, South Korea terminated the ongoing deployment of additional elements of the United States missile defense system THAAD over an investigation into the arrival of four U.S. rocket launchers exposing cover-ups at the Defense Ministry in Seoul in order to evade an environmental impact assessment. He was accompanied by the defense minister, the veterans affairs minister, and the commanders of both Korean forces and US troops stationed on the peninsula.

While US Forces Korea is responsible for deployment costs and management of the South Korean THAAD system, the Aegis Ashore system in Japan would be paid for by the Japanese government and managed by the Japan Self-Defense Forces, with the US military operating THAAD X-band radar installed in Aomori in northern Japan and Kyoto in southern Japan. "But for some reason that I do not know, this entire THAAD process was accelerated", Moon added.

Seoul and Washington announced their joint agreement in July previous year to install one THAAD battery in Seongju county, North Gyeongsang province.

Thousands of protesters marched near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul on Saturday to denounce U.S. President Donald Trump's blatant disrespect for South Korean sovereignty and its largely unilateral decision to deploy a controversial U.S. missile shield capable of spying on China.

The United States has stressed the "absolute importance" of THAAD deployment in South Korea since it was first installed in April.

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Though parts of system are already in place, Moon this month suspended further deployment. Still, Moon said the temporary suspension of the deployment did not mean any change in his country's decision to host the USA missile shield, which is aimed at protecting some 28,000 US troops stationed here, along with the country itself.

"Resumption of dialogue with North Korea may need to be pursued in close cooperation and consultation with the United States, but South Korea does not need to be allowed by the U.S. to do so", Kwun Hyuk-ki, a Presidency spokesman, told Yonhap News Agency.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in an interview published Tuesday that Japan must "take legal responsibility for its actions" and "make an official apology" in order to resolve a controversy over a deal to tackle the lingering issue of "comfort women".

South Korea has had to pay a significant price for THAAD deployment in the form of domestic unrest and even economic sanctions from China, its largest trading partner. South Korea also operates Aegis-equipped destroyers.

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