The U.S. and South Korean governments, against wide opposition of South Koreans (and strong subsequent backlash from local citizens of the deployment site), have agreed to deploy U.S.-made THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Air Defense) system in South Korea. This measure is supposedly to counter North Korean ballistic missiles and provide additional security, yet this is a controversial move that will likely to escalate tension in the region, by provoking North Korea, China and Russia into a spiraling arms race in the region that is already heavily militarized with weapons of mass destruction. Now, more than ever, is the time to step back and de-escalate tensions by pursuing negotiated settlements that will provide sustainable peace mechanism in the Korean Peninsula and the surrounding region.
Response to Petition
A response for your petition on defense systems in South Korea:
Thank you for signing this petition reflecting U.S. policy in the Korean peninsula.
Under President Obama, the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have worked to strengthen our alliance, which helps ensure a peaceful, secure, and prosperous future on the peninsula and in the Asia-Pacific region. A key part of our alliance includes strong support from the United States in defense of the ROK when needed.
In addition to the nuclear tests North Korea conducted in January and September of this year, North Korea performed multiple ballistic missile tests that directly violated several UN Security Council Resolutions. These provocative actions highlight the grave threat these actions pose to the peace and security of the entire Asia-Pacific region.
In February of this year, in response to the growing threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, the United States and the ROK began discussions to consider deploying a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system -- a mobile anti-missile defense system -- in order to improve the missile defense posture of the U.S.-ROK Alliance. Because of North Korea's continued provocations and refusal to engage in serious negotiations on denuclearization, the United States and ROK jointly decided to deploy THAAD as a purely defensive measure on July 8.
The THAAD battery will be focused solely on countering the North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile threat. THAAD will improve the U.S.-ROK joint missile defense posture in countering short-and medium-range regional ballistic missiles. It will not undermine China's or Russia's strategic deterrent. The United States is working with the ROK to deploy this system as soon as feasible in order to more safely defend our ROK Ally and U.S. military personnel deployed to the region from the North Korea nuclear and ballistic missile threat.
This decision reflects our ironclad commitment to defend our South Korean allies, especially in the face of the North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear threats.
Thank you for signing this petition and your interest in U.S. National security. We hope that you continue to share your views with the
--We the People Team