The most advanced missile system on the planet, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), can hunt and blast incoming missiles right out of the sky with a reportedly 100% success rate — and it appears to be headed to North Korea’s backyard.
“North Korea’s continued development of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction require the alliance to take this prudent, protective measure to bolster our layered and effective missile defense,” US Army Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of US forces in South Korea, said in a statement.
“Oh, it’s going to happen. It’s a necessary thing,” US Defense Secretary Ash Carter had earlier said during a discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
Meanwhile, satellite imagery indicates a high-level of activity at North Korea’s nuclear test site to ensure the facility is always ready for use on any orders from Pyongyang, a US think-tank said. The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said images from July 7 of the Punggye-ri site show what appear to be supplies and/or equipment stacked next to the North Portal where the North conducted its fourth nuclear test in January.
“Based on imagery alone, it is not possible to determine whether this activity is for maintenance, excavation or preparation for a fifth nuclear test”, it said Monday on its website 38 North. “Nevertheless, it is clear that North Korea is ensuring that the facility is in a state of readiness that would allow the conduct of future nuclear tests should the order come from Pyongyang,” it added.