US and South Korean military have jointly delivered new interceptor missiles onto the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) US base in Seongju – one of the seven US THAAD batteries deployed around the world.
The overnight deployment ignited several protests from local residents who were against the operation.
A ministry official said that the missiles that were replaced had reached the end of their operating cycle.
According to the Korean Defense Ministry, the deployment was supported by ground transportation of the replacement missiles, as well as power generators and electronic equipment for data collection, and other general supplies to improve the living conditions of military operators at the base.
The delivery began on Thursday evening and ended at around 6 a.m. Friday morning, according to the ministry.
The US has installed the THAAD system in Seongju in 2017. With a total of six launchers, the THAAD system is intended to counter North Korea’s missile threat.
There are reportedly eight interceptor missiles for each launcher, putting the total number of missiles in the base at 48.