The United States has begun shipping a controversial anti-missile system to South Korea after North Korea test-launched four medium-range missiles on Monday, U.S. officials told NBC News.
The system, called THAAD, which stands for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, is an anti-missile system designed to counter a threat like that from North Korea. Other THAAD systems are already active in Hawaii and Guam to defend against North Korea, but the shield hadn't yet been deployed to South Korea — a scenario that Beijing has denounced as a "clear, present and substantive threat to China's security interests."
The "first elements" of the THAAD system have already arrived in South Korea, U.S. defense officials told NBC News on Monday, just hours after Hwang Kyo-ahn, South Korea's acting president and prime minister, urged the United States to deploy it as soon as possible, saying the consequences of a nuclear-armed North Korea would be "horrible and beyond imagination."
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