U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in South Korea on Monday that the United States is continuing to seek the deployment of highly effective missile defenses there that are opposed by China.
However, the contentious issue of sending Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, batteries to bolster forces against North Korean missiles was not raised in closed-door meetings between Kerry and South Korean officials.
THAAD deployment was requested last year by Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), amid growing concerns regarding North Korean missiles targeting South Korea. Site surveys for THAAD bases were carried out last year—a sign of the relative urgency of the commander’s request.