U.S., South Korea agree to deploy THAAD this year, South says

FILE PHOTO - A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency. U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. and South Korean defense chiefs have agreed to deploy a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea this year to counter the threat from North Korea, South Korea’s defense ministry said on Friday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is on his two-day visit to Seoul, meeting South Korean top officials including Defense Minister Han Min-koo.

“The two agreed to deploy and operate Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system within this year as planned, which is a defense system solely against North Korea’s missile threat,” the South Korean defense ministry said in a statement, referring to the meeting between Han and Mattis.

Reporting by Ju-min Park and Jack Kim; Editing by Nick Macfie