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South Korea plans to deploy ‘Maritime THAAD’

By Fang Tian (People's Daily Online)    17:11, September 13, 2017

An SM-3 missile is fired from a US Navy destroyer (file photo)

South Korea plans to introduce Standard Missile 3 (SM-3), a ship-based missile system known as “Maritime THAAD” used by the U.S. Navy, the South Korean army claimed on Sept. 12, haiwainet.cn reported.

Deployment of SM-3 will be the last step to finish the Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system, after six launchers were deployed on Sept. 12 despite objections.

SM-3 features better performance than THAAD with an operational range of 700 km (434 miles) and a launching height of 400 km (248 miles), said the Ministry of National Defense of South Korea in its research paper, according to JoongAng Ilbo, a South Korean daily.

South Korea intends to establish a layered defense with SM-3. With this ship-based system, the country will be able to intercept missiles during the boost phase rather than only in the terminal stage, according to the report.

Information detected by SM-3 will be shared between South Korea and its allies, including the U.S. and Japan. Like THAAD, this new deployment plan is estimated to cause strong oppositions from neighboring countries, as it will affect the national security of neighbors.

China has repeatedly expressed its clear and consistent opposition. The THAAD deployment by the U.S. in South Korea severely disrupts regional strategic balance, undermines the strategic security interests of regional countries, including China, and is not helpful for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang on Sept. 6.

China urges relevant parties to pay attention to the national security interests and concerns of regional countries and stop the deployment, said the spokesperson.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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