The top commander for U.S. forces in Korea has asked Washington to deploy an advanced American missile defense system in Korea, a move that may push Seoul closer to joining Washington's missile defense system along with Japan.
Speaking at a lecture in Seoul on Tuesday, General Curtis Scaparrotti said he had recommended that the Pentagon set up the system known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, to Korea.
Scaparrotti's comments are the first from a U.S. official that confirm it is looking into deploying its high altitude defense shield on the peninsula.
THAAD is a U.S.-led missile defense system capable of intercepting ballistic missiles at high altitudes of up to 150 kilometers in their terminal phase.
Earlier reports said that Washington had conducted a site survey for possible deployment locations for its THAAD system.
But is it a good fit for South Korea?
"THAAD is very controversial regarding the efficiency and adaptability and interoperability. [There are] a lot of concepts we should consider."
Some experts say the U.S. is not using the system to prevent threats from Pyongyang, but rather to counter China's growing presence in the region.
""It's still too early to say that it's all against China's rising military power. We should focus on North Korea's syntactic missile system and North Korea's most provocative actions including fourth nuclear test and another series of missile test.
The recommendation is in the initial stages of consideration.
General Scaparrotti said a final decision would come after close discussions between Korea and the U.S.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.