Washington and Seoul are looking into possible areas for THAAD deployment on the peninsula. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency
SEOUL, June 6 (UPI) -- South Korea and U.S. officials are considering a number of locations on the peninsula for the deployment of anti-missile defense system THAAD, according to Seoul military sources.
Candidate areas include existing U.S. military bases located near the South Korean city of Daegu and another site near Pyeongtaek, about 40 miles from Seoul, Yonhap reported.
The report comes three days after South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said THAAD would not be discussed with the United States, ahead of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, an annually held regional security forum in Asia.
Han's statement at the time followed an earlier remark from U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who had said the advanced missile defense system would be covered during the talks with Seoul.
In addition to placing the missile interceptors at U.S. bases, other under-populated areas in the South are under consideration, according to sources who spoke to press on the condition of anonymity.
THAAD negotiations have been ongoing between Washington and Seoul, but in the past concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of THAAD on the peninsula.
A U.S. Defense Department report issued in May 1999 concluded a THAAD-like system could leave certain portions of South Korea unprotected, and a combination of anti-missile defense systems should be deployed to target incoming missiles from different altitudes.
A "lower-tier system" would need to be deployed since THAAD-type defense cannot intercept any attacks on Seoul, according to the report.
China and Russia have also raised concerns regarding the placement of THAAD in South Korea.
China's Adm. Sun Jianguo adamantly opposed the anti-missile defense system in South Korea during the Shangri-La Dialogue, South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov also raised concerns, saying the missile defense cooperation between South Korea and the United States must not destroy the "strategic stability" of the region.