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Koreans Could End Up Paying For The U.S. THAAD Missile System

By March 4, 2017 at 4:12 am
South Koreans may end up paying for the THAAD (Photo : Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

The U.S. defense missile system that may possibly be built on South Korean soil has already brought a lot of problems for the country and its citizens. First, it has sparked tension with SoKor and China relations since the latter does not want the former to push through with the plans.

Now, it is highly likely that South Koreans will be further burdened by the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system. There are concerns that the government will be paying for the construction, maintenance, and operations of the system.

Opposition lawmakers said that most of the financial burden for THAAD may be placed on South Koreans' shoulders. They have pointed out that the U.S. has not allocated a budget for the missile defense system.

Defense Minister Han Min-Koo initially said that Korea will not be bearing additional cost except for providing the site. However, Rep. Shim Jae-Kwon of the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), who is also the chairman of the National Assembly Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee, said that there are three scenarios that could possibly happen.

"First, the U.S. may not be fully prepared to deploy it on time for practical reasons," he said. "Secondly, it may demand Korea share the expense, unlike the previous agreement. Last, it may use money deposited in the Community Bank."

U.S. President Donald Trump has proposed an increase for its budget on defense and security by 10 percent from last year. This does not mean, though, that the U.S. Congress will be setting aside money for the THAAD development in South Korea.

"If Washington and Seoul don't clarify that the THAAD deployment has nothing to do with cost-sharing for the USFK between the two countries, Korea may have to pay for the deployment and even that for Patriot missile batteries to protect THAAD," Rep. Hong Ihk-pyo of the DPK added. "The Park Geun-Hye administration is being irresponsible, unloading a burden onto the next government."

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