The Russian Ambassador to South Korea, Alexander Timonin has expressed deep concern over possible deployment of US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea calling it a security threat to Russia, Sputnik reported Friday.
"What concerns us is that a US missile defense system could be placed in areas not far from Russia, adding to worries over THAAD’s radar system or technology," Alexander Timonin was quoted as saying.
Washington however has claimed that the proposed defense system is being deployed to deal with growing missile threat from North Korea. The Russian experts still believe that it will be a major threat to Moscow as THAAD’s working range is beyond just Korean Peninsula.
"Of course it has multi-purpose tasks. One of the tasks, of course, is North Korea,” “But, additionally, the capability of this system allows this equipment to intercept missiles, Russian missiles for example. So, yes, unfortunately, there are grounds for concern vis-a-vis security situation of Russia and the Chinese," Alexander Vorontsov, a Moscow-based Korea expert at the Russian Academy of Sciences was quoted as saying by the Diplomat news website.
“A survey team from the US visited South Korea last November to find out the eligible places for THAAD deployment and selected Daegu after a month of survey,” an unnamed South Korean government official was quoted as saying by local newspaper Segye Ilbo on March 20 2014. “The battery which will be deployed in South Korea by 2017 would be the fifth THAAD battery, next to one for the United Arab Emirates in 2016”.
However, official says that the THAAD battery in Daegu wouldn’t be a relocation of previously deployed batteries in the US.
Daegu, which has a large military airbase and a heavy ROK and US military presence, is in good condition for deployment, a military expert said.
“The military airbase has a lot of advantages for THAAD deployment,” Kim Min-seok, a military analyst and ROK Army advisor for force development told NK News. “Big transport airplanes like the C-17, which are required for its emergency deployment, can land without effort, and it has wide space for a THAAD battery.”