U.S. President Donald Trump said he wants South Korea to pay for the US$1 billion deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery, a missile defense system the allies are currently fielding here, he said in an interview with Reuters reported on Friday. Trump also said he will “renegotiate or terminate” the U.S. free trade agreement with South Korea. Trump’s remarks were reported after key elements of THAAD, the high-profile X-band radar and mobile launchers, were delivered to the host site in the southern Seongju county on Wednesday as the deployment gathered pace.
The US Forces Korea on Wednesday brought launchers, a radar and other key parts of its advanced missilen defense system to its deployment site, in a surprise move to accelerate the process ahead of a presidential election here amid heightened tension on the peninsula. Some 20 trailers carrying key components of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system arrived at the site at dawn in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province. Although covered by plastic boxes and wrapping, they were believed to include a radar, launchers, interceptors, a fire control and communications unit, a power generator and a cooler.