South Korea and the U.S. are discussing deployment of an aircraft carrier and strategic bombers, South Korean Yonhap news agency reported, citing the country’s defense ministry. The agency added that Seoul had detected “indications” that Pyongyang is preparing a ballistic missile launch.
A nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, strategic bombers and “other powerful assets”can be deployed to the Korean Peninsula as a response to North Korea’s latest nuclear test, Seoul’s defense ministry said on Monday.
“We will push for the option of deploying strategic assets such as the US carrier strike group and strategic bombers after consultation with the US,” the ministry said.
The ministry also said that it was planning construction of additional facilities at the existing launch site of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), a US anti-ballistic missile defense system which is intended to shoot down short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
The US Forces Korea (USFK) will install another four THAAD launchers at the converted golf course in Seongju County, some 300 kilometers south of Seoul, the ministry said. There are currently two THAAD launchers in operation there, while four others are ready for deployment, the ministry added.
“The remaining launchers will soon be tentatively deployed through South Korea-U.S. consultations in order to counter North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missile threats,” the statement said.
South Korea will also stage a unilateral live-fire drill, using its F-15 K fighter jets armed with Taurus air-to-surface missiles, in September, Seoul’s defense ministry said in its report to the National Assembly’s defense committee.