CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii -- U.S. Pacific Command deployed the first elements of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system to the Republic of Korea on March 6, implementing the U.S.-Republic of Korea Alliance's July 2016 decision to bring the defense capability to the peninsula.

North Korea's accelerating program of nuclear weapons tests and ballistic missile launches constitute a threat to international peace and security and violate multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions. The deployment of THAAD contributes to a layered missile defense system and enhances the U.S.-ROK Alliance's defense against North Korean missile threats.

"Continued provocative actions by North Korea, to include yesterday's launch of multiple missiles, only confirm the prudence of our alliance decision last year to deploy THAAD to South Korea," said Adm. Harry Harris, commander, U.S. Pacific Command. "We will resolutely honor our alliance commitments to South Korea and stand ready to defend ourselves, the American homeland and our allies."

The THAAD system is a strictly defensive capability and poses no threat to other countries in the region. THAAD is designed to intercept and destroy both short and medium range ballistic missiles located inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight.

U.S. Pacific Command joint military forces remain vigilant in the face of North Korean ballistic missile threats and provocations and are fully committed to working closely with our ROK allies to maintain security in the region.

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U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities for decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the Joint Warfighter and the Nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Material Command.