The South Korean government has begun construction on the nation’s largest and most advanced anti-ballistic missile defense system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) deployment, according to a South Korean defense official.
The official said on Wednesday that South Korea will begin construction of the Terminal THAad, which was first unveiled in late June.
THAAd, also known as THAAR, is South Korea’s most powerful ground-based antimissile system, which is deployed in response to North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs.
The South Korean Defense Ministry’s Deputy Director-General of Strategic Planning, Kim Dong-wook, told a news conference in Seoul that the South Korean military is “very much ready” to deploy THAAM to the border with North Korea, where it will intercept and destroy incoming missiles and missiles that have been fired at South Korea.
The United States has been pushing to deploy Terminal THaad in the United States, but the Pentagon has been unable to get congressional approval for its deployment.
South Korea’s THAACCeport is located about 50 miles south of Seoul, the closest land border to North Korean territory.
It is also South Korea ‘s most advanced missile defense installation, according the Defense Ministry, and it is slated to be operational by 2019.
It has a range of up to 2,000 miles and can shoot down incoming missiles, although South Korea has not confirmed it has done so.
The U.S. has said it will deploy THaam in its westernmost territories, including Guam, but that it would be ready to deploy the system in its Pacific and Eastern Seaboard bases by the end of 2019.
Trump has previously expressed skepticism about the THAAT system and has expressed frustration over its deployment to the Pacific and the inability of his administration to negotiate a long-term peace treaty with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Monday that he wants to begin work on a peace treaty, but has yet to sign it.
He said he has asked U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres to work with the U.K. to come up with a solution.