The initial installation of a Missile Defense System in South Korea to curb the growing capability of North Korea’s missile program has finally kicked off amid protest from China. The US government has described the project as a positive move that will ensure maximum protection of South Korean and US forces in the Korean Peninsula from potential missiles attack from the North.

North Korea's persistent provocation

The installation comes in the wake of a series of missile launches by Pyongyang. Despite the UN sanctions on North Korea, the secretive state has persistently launched ballistic missiles that could potentially reach distant lands.

In February, a missile launched from North Korea successively landed within Japanese territory.

The US administration has maintained that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system is meant to bring Kim Jong-un to his senses. China has, however, protested the installation, arguing that it will destabilize the region. Despite calls for China to rein in on North Korea’s nuclear program, negotiations between the two states have stalled, prompting the US to proceed with the installation of the defense system. China perceives the installation as an attempt by the US to control a region that is predominantly on good terms with China.

The ability of T.H.A.A.D.

Pyongyang conducted a decorated military parade in which it showcased multiple short and medium range ballistic missiles.

US intelligence has downplayed the ability of North Korea's nuclear ambitions. It, however, believes North Korea is seeking to develop long range missiles that could reach as far as the US. The Junta regime has further reiterated that it will readily use its missiles if provoked by the US or her allies.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (T.H.A.A.D.) has the capability to intercept and destroy short and medium range ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight.

The installation, which will become operational in 2018, comes just weeks after US vice President Mike Pence warned that the US would abandon the failed policy of strategic patience with North Korea. Reports also suggest that a US submarine has joined other warships docking within reach of North Korea and could be used if the missile launches do not cease.

Kim Jong-un is unpredictable

Speaking to a congressional panel, US Admiral Harry Harris warned that his troops could not guarantee that Kim Jong-un would not do something dangerous. He asserted that the new missile defense system would be essential in protecting the Korean peninsula from potential targets, as well as help US forces handle any missile targeting civilians or troops.

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