September 28, 2020

Why Seoul shrugs at U.S.-led missile defense

China's concerns, economics matters and benefits of self-reliance dampen South Korea's interest in THAAD missile defense system

The United States wants South Korea as part of its missile defense network, one which could in theory serve as a deterrent to North Korean aggression. South Korea, so far at least, seems to have its own ideas.

Unlike Japan, Seoul has thus far appeared hesitant to adopt the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, and many sources have identified the prospects of provoking China, the most powerful of South Korea’s neighbors and its largest trading partner, as the reasons for such hesitance.