South Korea and the United States officially launched a joint working group Friday to discuss the idea of deploying an advanced missile defense shield in the Northeast Asian country, the Defense Ministry in Seoul said.
The joint group is scheduled to hold its inaugural meeting later in the day at the Ministry of National Defense. The sides are co-headed by the South Korean ministry’s Director General Maj. Gen. Jang Kyung-soo and U.S. Forces Korea’s Maj. Gen. Robert Hedelund.
After years of speculation over the local deployment of the U.S.-built Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, the allies announced last month that they will start discussing the U.S.-proposed deployment of the defense system in South Korea to better counter North Korea’s growing missile threats.
Friday’s official talks were launched after the two sides signed terms of reference in forming the joint working group earlier in the day. The working level body will discuss an array of issues, including the military effectiveness of THAAD, appropriate sites for the deployment, timeline, cost-sharing, and the impact on safety and the environment, the ministry said.