South Korea Puts Its American Defense Missile System On Hold

South Korean President Moon Jae-in first wants to complete an environmental impact assessment.
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South Korea Puts Its American Defense Missile System On Hold

South Korea will hold off on deploying an American-made missile defense system.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in made the decision. He was elected in early May, roughly a week after the country got two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system launchers up and running.

Moon knew about those two launchers, but he didn't know another four had arrived in the country — and he wasn't happy about it.

Moon put the extra launchers on pause until a full environmental impact survey was done. He also accused the country's defense ministry of trying to work around the environmental assessment.

The missile system — know as THAAD — typically uses multiple launchers. Its meant to protect South Korea from North Korean missiles, but its deployment has been highly controversial.

Some, including Moon, think deploying the missiles could rub China the wrong way. Beijing views THAAD as a threat and has encouraged South Korea and the U.S. to stop using it.

Moon has also called for more diplomatic relations between South Korea and its sister nation in the North.