WASHINGTON, DC — As the bizarre scandal over South Korean President Park Geun-Hye’s relationship with a family friend snowballs toward her possible impeachment or resignation, US commitment to deploy THAAD to the region “continues forward.”
“Our THAAD deployment continues,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told Business Insider during a press briefing. “The effort to do that as quickly as possible continues forward, and I am not aware of any plans to alter that at this point.”
On Tuesday, Park announced in a brief televised speech that she was willing to leave office early and have parliament decide her fate. If Park is unseated, an election must be held within 60 days to find her successor.
“I don’t think THAAD deployment will change unless a new administration in South Korea — even a progressive one — thinks little of providing for the country’s national defense,” Victor Cha, senior adviser and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Business Insider.
Negotiations to deploy THAAD, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense antimissile system, to South Korea have been ongoing since Park’s October 2015 visit to the White House. And in July, Washington formally agreed to equip Seoul with the unique missile-defense system to further defend the region amid North Korea’s missile tests.
Earlier this month, Gen. Vincent Brooks, the Army commander of US Forces Korea, said deployment was to occur within eight to 10 months.
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Featured image courtesy of Reuters.