South Korea on Friday denied U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments about the cost of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system that was deployed in the nation’s southeast region earlier this week.
An official at Seoul’s defense ministry told Xinhua that there has been no change made in its basic principle that South Korea provides land and infrastructure while the U.S. side pays the cost to deploy and operate the THAAD system.
It came in response to Trump’s comments made in an interview with Reuters, in which he said he wants South Korea to pay the cost of the U.S. THAAD anti-missile defense system, which he estimated at 1 billion U.S. dollars.
A senior South Korean government source was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying the principle, in which the U.S. side pays the cost for the THAAD’s operation, was already agreed upon between the two countries.
The agreement was reached between the two countries in July last year when Seoul and Washington announced the decision to deploy one THAAD battery in South Korea by the end of this year.
Early Wednesday, two mobile launchers, an AN/TPY-2 radar, the fire and control unit and other equipment were transported to a golf course in southeast South Korea, which was designated as the THAAD site.
A THAAD battery is composed of six mobile launchers, the radar, 48 interceptors and the fire and control unit.
With the Wednesday deliveries, an initial operation of the THAAD system can be ensured, the defense ministry said. Enditem