Plans to deploy an American antimissile battery to South Korea and the growing North Korean threat will be at the top of James Mattis’s agenda this week when the new defense secretary visits South Korea and Japan on his first foreign trip.

Mattis, a retired Marine general nicknamed “Mad Dog,” will meet with Han Min-koo, the South ­Korean defense minister, in Seoul on Thursday before heading to Tokyo. Han is expected to reiterate South Korea’s commitment to hosting the Terminal High Altitude Aerial Defense system, or THAAD.

But with China exacting economic revenge on South Korea over its decision to host the missile battery and the South Korean government in crisis, some in Seoul now have jitters about the plan.

That could take months, with the Constitutional Court now deciding whether to uphold the National Assembly’s motion to impeach President Park Geun-hye, who made the decision to host THAAD, for her role in a sensational political scandal.


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Featured image courtesy of AP.