Suspected North Korean drone photographed US THAAD missile site before crash

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

The THAAD system, controlled by the USA, was deployed to the Korean peninsula back in March and is created to shoot down any North Korean missiles that might pose a threat to South Korea, the United States, or other allies in the region.

North Korea on Wednesday called on South Korea to take actions to ease military tensions along the inter-Korean border ahead of the 17th anniversary of a historic summit between the two Koreas.

The South Korean army seized the drone and confirmed that the device had taken photos of the Thaad site in Seongju, according to a defence official.

THAAD, an anti-missile defense system aimed at defending against North Korean missiles, has been a contentious deployment in South Korea, as well as the region.

"I believe that the security situation on the Korean Peninsula is more dire than ever before", he said, pointing to a series of missile tests by North Korea this year, including five since he took office on May 10.

Before taking office last month, Moon had said he would try to reach out to North Korea and improve ties badly strained over the North's nuclear and missile programs.

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his administration have been largely critical of the arrival of THAAD systems in his country. It could see the halt in implementation of the THAAD deployment as an acquiescence, and thereby invite even more pressure on Seoul on each occasion that China is dissatisfied with new South Korean defense measures toward North Korea.

South Korea and Japan co-hosted the 2002 World Cup but a four-way split is unheard of, let alone between two countries - the Koreas - who are technically still at war. About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea.

"We must induce North Korea to change its attitude and ultimately we must find a way to fundamentally resolve North Korea's nuclear and missile threat and maintain peace", he said.

Moon and Trump have already talked to each other on several occasions, including a phone conversation initiated by the USA head of state to congratulate his South Korean counterpart on his election. There are mounting concerns that the North could make drones capable of dropping small bombs. That bilateral strategic group was established a year ago to enhance deterrence against North Korea's threats.

Moon, who suggested during his successful campaign for a May 9 election that he could try to renegotiate the deal, also said the two countries should not "cling to past history" only to block other developments in their ties.

The U.S. said that Trump will welcome Moon to the White House.

Other reports by VgToday

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