Lockheed Martin has clarified Friday that it is unaware of any talks taking place between South Korea and the US about the THAAD missile defense system, apologizing for the earlier claim that the discussions are under way.
"We regret the inaccurate information that was provided by Lockheed Martin yesterday at a media event in Washington," Jennifer Whitlow, senior vice president for communications at Lockheed Martin, said in a statement on Friday.
"We are not aware of any discussions between the US and Korea regarding THAAD." Whitlow rectified her previous claim.
Trotsky on Thursday had said during a National Press Club news conference that the two nations have already been in "formal and informal discussions" on the possible deployment of a THAAD missile defense battery to the South Korea.Trotsky also said the discussions are at "a very beginning state."
The claim followed the US Defense Secretary Ash Carter's schedule to visit South Korea for the annual defense ministers' talks with Seoul's Defense Minister Han Min-koo. The scheduled trip led to speculation that it might be a topic for the upcoming talks but South Korea as well as the US plainly rejected the claim as untrue.
The Washington has made no request to Seoul with regard to the issue as there has been no decision yet within the U.S. government.” Seoul's Defense Minister Han Min-koo said.
Even the US Department of Defense also said that it has not yet reached conclusion on the issue, nor it has made any formal consultations with the South.
Lockheed Martin voluntarily called Thursday's news conference about missile defense at the National Press Club, where correspondents of many foreign countries are stationed. It is obvious that questions regarding THAAD are asked during the event.
THAAD, which stands for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, is considered one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world, and is manufactured by Lockheed Martin.