South Korea’s presidential office has confirmed that the defense ministry has deliberately failed to report the delivery of additional Thaad launchers.
The finding came after an investigation into several ministry officials, including the deputy minister for policy, Yoon Young-chan, chief presidential press secretary was quoted as saying by The Korea Times reported Wednesday.
On Tuesday, President Moon Jae-in ordered a probe into why the delivery of four additional launchers of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system was not disclosed.
"Yesterday (Tuesday), Cheong Wa Dae called in several defense officials and intensively investigated how the delivery was omitted in the briefing," Yoon said.
"As a result of the probe, we found out that the wording about the delivery was deleted in the process of senior officials reading the draft report (written by working-level officials) multiple times," he added.
A THAAD battery consists of six truck-mounted launchers, 48 interceptors (eight per launcher), a fire control and communications unit and an AN/TPY-2 radar.
The ministry has announced that two of the launchers were delivered to the deployment site in a southern county last month. But there had been no official word on whether additional launchers were delivered to Korea.
The Moon administration has sought to gain "procedural legitimacy" of the THAAD deployment, claiming that the former government had failed to build public consensus over the security policy decision.