U.S. Army chief to visit S. Korea this week amid tensions on THAAD

Source: XinhuaEditor: Ouyang
2016-08-16 15:38

SEOUL, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Chief of the U.S. Army plans to visit South Korea this week, Seoul's defense ministry said on Tuesday.

Gen. Mark Milley, U.S. Army chief of staff, will make a three-day visit to South Korea from Wednesday, meeting his South Korean counterpart on Friday, a South Korean army official told a regular press briefing.

The U.S. army head will receive an update on plans to deploy one Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery on South Korean soil, his office said. It would mark his second visit to South Korea since he took office in August 2015.

High-level U.S. army official's visit to South Korea would come amid heightened tensions surrounding Seoul and Washington's abrupt decision last month to house one THAAD battery in southeastern South Korea by the end of next year.

Objections from civic group activists and opposition lawmakers to the U.S. missile shield are getting louder at home, while China and Russia have strongly opposed the THAAD deployment as its X-band radar can snoop on Chinese and Russian territories.

If deployed, it would escalate the already heightened tensions in Northeast Asia as arms race is expected.

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