Beijing has voiced its concerns over THAAD plans, with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang saying last month that “deploying missile defense on the Korean peninsula would not be in the interest of regional stability or strategic balance.”
The plans are justified by a growing missile threat from North Korea against America’s allies South Korea, Japan and military bases. The US military plans to deploy its Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense in South Korea and, according to some media reports, is pressuring Seoul to do so instead of developing a national missile defense system.
"There was consideration being taken in order to consider THAAD being deployed here in Korea. It is a US initiative, and in fact, I recommended it as the commander," General Curtis Scaparrotti, the commander of United States Forces Korea (USFK), said last month addressing a forum hosted by the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, in Seoul. Washington is looking for a region-wide, operational anti-missile defense system, with military experts believing that it would be actually aimed against China’s increasing military presence.
Washington so far has not officially proposed Seoul host its anti-missile system, with the plan being currently internally debated, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said. While previously South Korean officials maintained that they want to provide protection from possible missile attacks domestically, on Wednesday South Korean acting Defense Minister Kim said he would not object to Korea hosting the American system, as long as Seoul does not pay for it.